MANILA, Jan 18 — The Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines on Monday reported 2,163 new daily confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, the highest in more than two months in this Southeast Asian country, reported Xinhua news agency.

The last time the daily new cases in the Philippines exceeded Monday’s number was on Nov 8, 2020, which stood at 2,442.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surged to 502,736 so far.

The death toll climbed to 9,909 after 14 more patients died from the viral disease, the DOH said. It added two more patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 465,988.

The Philippines, which has about 110 million population, has tested over 6.84 million people since the disease emerged in January last year.

There is no significant increase in cases in Metro Manila, the country’s capital region, since December last year, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual press conference.

However, she said the DOH has noted a spike of cases in Cebu province in the central Philippines, the Cagayan Valley region, and the Cordillera Administrative Region in the northern Philippines.

She said that the average number of new cases recorded in the Philippines in the past week was at 1,500, higher than the 1,000 to 1,300 average recorded in December last year.

Vergeire said the DOH is still analysing the data to see if the post-holiday surge has started yet.

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