Philippines logs 899 new COVID-19 cases, 188 more deaths

The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) reported 899 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, pushing the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 2,831,177.

The Philippines has recorded less than 1,000 cases for four straight days. The DOH also reported that 188 more people died from COVID-19 complications, bringing the country’s death toll to 48,205.

At a virtual news conference, DOH official Beverly Ho said that there is an ongoing discussion to widen the travel restrictions amid the emergence of coronavirus variant Omicron.

The Philippines banned air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Mozambique on Friday to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant in the country. The temporary ban stays until Dec. 15.

The Omicron variant was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from South Africa on Nov. 24. The WHO said the variant “has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning.”