The Philippines on Thursday recorded another jump in coronavirus cases to overtake neighbouring Indonesia as the country with the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in East Asia.
A recent surge in cases of the virus in and around the capital Manila has pushed authorities to reimpose a lockdown affecting around a quarter of the country’s 107 million people.
The Philippines recorded 3,561 new infections on Thursday, taking its total confirmed cases to 119,460. That is higher than Indonesia’s 118,753 infection cases.
The death toll rose by 28 to 2,150, which is less than half of Indonesia’s 5,521 fatalities, but is expected to grow after the recent spike in cases.
President Rodrigo Duterte announced late on Sunday a two-week lockdown in and around Manila, which accounts for two-thirds of the country’s economic output.
The restrictions, which came into effect on Tuesday, were reinstated after a group of doctors and nurses warned that the healthcare system could collapse as a result of a surging number of virus patients.
Public transport has been shut and working from home instituted where possible, with only one person per household allowed out for essential goods.
The Philippines imposed one the world’s strictest and longest lockdowns in and around the capital, running from mid-March to the end of May, which brought the economy to its knees in the first half.