Manila [Philippines], October 2 (ANI): The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported 14,786 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, pushing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 2,580,173.
The DOH also reported that 164 more people died from COVID-19 complications, bringing the country's death toll to 38,656.
The Philippines, with a population of 110 million, has tested nearly 20 million people since the outbreak in January 2020.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH is still assessing if the lower number of daily COVID-19 cases recorded in recent days is "artificial or real."
"We need to analyze further and study (the trend) carefully before we can say that the situation is really improving," she told a televised press conference, stressing the need "to be cautious because the hospitals are still full."
Meanwhile, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua has expressed optimism that the Philippine economy can recover and reach its growth targets of 4 percent to 5 percent for 2021 and 7 percent to 9 percent in 2022.
However, Chua stressed the need to accelerate the vaccination rollout, manage the risks better, and implement the economic recovery program to attain the targets.
Chua added that while prospects for the country's economic recovery remain promising, "its sustainability depends on our actions in dealing with the virus."
"We believe that our strategy to have granular lockdowns is right and working," Chua added, saying Metro Manila has recorded fewer cases.
The Philippines has administered over 45.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and more than 21.4 million people have been fully vaccinated. The government aims to vaccinate up to 70 million people this year. (ANI)