Published: 09:33, August 8, 2021 | Updated: 07:14, August 9, 2021
Philippines sees biggest jump in COVID-19 toll in 4 months
By Agencies

A health worker administers a dose of the BioNtech Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to a resident at a drive-through vaccination center in Manila City suburban Manila on July 31, 2021. (PHOTO / AFP)

MELBOURNE / RAMALLAH / BANGKOK / NEW DELHI / KUALA LUMPUR / ULAN BATOR / SUVA / HANOI / TEHRAN / JAKARTA / YANGON / TOKYO / BEIRUT / BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN / ANKARA / JERUSALEM / WELLINGTON / ISLAMABAD / SEOUL / PHNOM PENH / VIENTIANE - The Philippines' health ministry recorded on Sunday 9,671 new coronavirus cases and 287 additional deaths, the biggest single-day spike in the country's death toll since April 9.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed infections in the Southeast Asian country had risen to 1.66 million, while the death toll had climbed to 29,122.


Australia's three most populous states of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland reported a total of 282 COVID-19 new locally acquired infections on Sunday, with authorities struggling to quell outbreaks of the Delta variant.

NSW reported 262 fresh cases, down from the pandemic high of 319 seen on Saturday, with more than five million people in Sydney regions along the coastline under a lockdown for six weeks already.

One woman in her 80s has died overnight bringing the total number of deaths in the current outbreak to 28.

There are 362 people in hospital in NSW, with 58 in intensive care. Of the people in intensive care, 54 were unvaccinated.

Neighbouring Victoria reported 11 new locally acquired coronavirus cases, as the state remains under a seven-day strict lockdown imposed earlier this week. 

Queensland recorded nine new local cases, with parts of the state to come out of a lockdown on Sunday, but a fresh three-day lcodown was imposed on the city of Cairns after a report of a case with unknown origin.

With the highly transmissible Delta variant plaguing Australia's east coast, states have applied the "go hard, go early" snap lockdown approach, suggested by the federal government last week until at least 70 percent of the population gets vaccinated. 

Only about a fifth of people aged over 16 have been fully vaccinated so far, mainly due to scarce supply of Pfizer shots and public unease about the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Sunday the first million doses of the Moderna vaccine is expected in September.


The Brunei government announced stricter social distancing measures after the country reported eight new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, including seven local infections and one imported case.

According to Brunei's Ministry of Health, the control measures were reinstated for two weeks with immediate effect, including closing religious places, schools switching to online learning, no dine-in for restaurants, and closing indoor and outdoor sports facilities, leisure centers and cinemas.

With the eight new cases reported on Saturday, Brunei's national tally of COVID-19 cases increased to 347.


Cambodia on Sunday reported a daily record of 556 COVID-19 cases, of which 154 were imported, pushing the national total caseload to 81,891, the Ministry of Health (MoH) said in a statement.

Twenty-five more fatalities had been recorded, bringing the death toll to 1,562, the MoH said.


Fijian health officials reported on Saturday six new COVID-19 deaths and 682 new cases.

Fiji's Ministry of Health permanent secretary James Fong said three of the deaths were reported in the Central Division and three in the Western Division.

Of the 682 new cases, 193 were from the Western Division and 489  from the Central Division.


India's COVID-19 tally rose to 31,934,455 on Sunday as 39,070 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours across the country, showed the federal health ministry's latest data.

Besides, as many as 491 deaths due to the pandemic since Saturday morning took the total death toll to 427,862.


The number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 31,753 within the past 24 hours to 3,639,616, with the death toll adding by 1,588 to 105,598, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.


Iran reported on Saturday 26,439 new COVID-19 cases, taking the country's total infections to 4,119,110.

The pandemic has so far claimed 93,473 lives in Iran, up by 387 in the past 24 hours, the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education announced.


Israel's Ministry of Health reported 4,221 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the tally of infections in the country to 897,326.

The death toll from the coronavirus in Israel rose by 19 to 6,535, the ministry said.

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Japan's daily COVID-19 infections hit a record high of 15,753 on Saturday for the fourth consecutive day, while the number of people hospitalized in Tokyo also reached a fresh high, local media reported Saturday.

Tokyo, hosting the Olympics while under a state of emergency, reported 4,566 daily COVID-19 cases on Saturday, exceeding 4,000 cases for the fourth straight day.

Strains are growing over hospitals in Tokyo, as the number of inpatients hit 3,485, which surpassed the record of 3,427 in early January.


The fifth batch of China-donated Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine carried by the Chinese YTO Airlines cargo plane arrived at the Lao capital Vientiane late on Saturday.

Lao Health Minister Bounfeng Phoummalaysith and Economic and Commercial Counselor of Chinese Embassy in Laos Zhao Wenyu received the donation at the airport.


Lebanon registered on Saturday 1,593 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of cases to 570,098, the Health Ministry reported.

Death toll from the virus went up by six cases to 7,938, according to the ministry.


Malaysia will shift to using the number of new symptomatic COVID-19 hospital admissions as a gauge for whether to ease curbs in states in the first phase of its National Recovery Plan, the Finance Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The indicator will replace the current measure - daily Covid-19 cases - if a state’s level of full vaccinations with a double dose reaches 50 percent of adults, Finance Minister Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said in the statement.

The decision was made on the advice of domestic and overseas health experts who said the transmission risk decrease as vaccinations increase among adults, he said.

The change could affect the pace of restriction relaxation in Kuala Lumpur, the capital, and the industrial state of Selangor, where the vaccination rate is relatively high. Both areas are recording the most daily infections, contributing almost 50 percent of 19,257 new cases on Saturday.

Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, together with the administrative capital of Putrajaya, had 47.7 percent of its adult population, or 2.94 million people, fully vaccinated as of Friday, according to the official Twitter account of the Special Committee for Ensuring Access to COVID-19 Vaccine Supply, citing data from the COVID-19 Immunization Task Force. 

The combined three areas are called Klang Valley in Malaysia.

Malaysia reported another 19,257 new COVID-19 infections, the Health Ministry said on Saturday, bringing the national total to 1,243,852.


Nearly 50 percent of all Mongolian teenagers aged between 12 and 17 have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far, according to a statement released by the country's ministry of education and science on Saturday.

Over 75 percent of about 290,000 teenagers in this age group have received their first doses of COVID-19 vaccines, it added.

Mongolia reported 1,463 new COVID-19 cases and six more deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the national counts to 173,532 and 879, respectively, the country's health ministry said Sunday.

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Myanmar reported 3,651 new COVID-19 cases with 264 more deaths in the past 24 hours, according to a release from the Ministry of Health on Saturday.

According to the release, the number of COVID-19 infections rose to 326,489 with its death toll increasing to 11,526 so far.

New Zealand

New Zealand reported five new cases of COVID-19 from recent returnees in managed isolation facilities, said the Ministry of Health in a statement on Sunday, with no new case recorded in the wider community.

One historical case, which was thought to have been recorded from overseas, was added to New Zealand's COVID-19 tally.

The number of active cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand was 32 and the total number of confirmed cases reached 2,530.


Pakistan on Saturday reported 4,455 new COVID-19 cases, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) said on Sunday.

The NCOC, a department leading Pakistan's campaign against the pandemic, said the country's number of overall confirmed cases had risen to 1,067,580, including 961,639 recoveries.


A senior Palestinian official announced on Saturday that 95 percent of the recent COVID-19 infections in the West Bank are of the Delta variant.

Palestinian minister of health Mai al-Kaila told reporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah that COVID-19 Delta variant is spreading in all West Bank towns, adding that 95 percent of the recorded cases were infected by the new spreading variant.

She clarified that until now, "the epidemiological situation in the West Bank does not need to go for a lockdown," adding that the health ministry needs assistance to limit the spread of the deadly virus, and then take all the needed measures later.

Al-Kaila said that keeping cities and economic institutions opened and resuming education at schools and universities "requires a societal responsibility through citizens' awareness to prevent the virus from spreading on a large scale."

"The recorded cases in Palestine are witnessing a slight increase, and the curve is rising from what it was a few days ago," she said, adding she is deeply concerned that "this is an indication of the entry of the fourth wave of COVID-19."

South Korea

South Korea reported 1,729 more COVID-19 cases as of midnight Saturday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 210,956.

The daily caseload was down from 1,823 in the prior day, but it hovered above 1,000 for 33 straight days. The daily average tally for the past week was 1,596.


Thailand on Saturday reported 21,838 new COVID-19 cases and 212 more fatalities, both new records, according to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

Those have brought the country's total number of infections to 736,522, while that of the cumulative deaths to 6,066, according to the CCSA.

The COVID-19 infections have continued to climb in the country's worst outbreak since the pandemic started, largely attributed to the spread of the Delta variant.

The capital Bangkok remained the epicenter of the months-long surge in infections, with 4,221 new cases reported during the past 24 hours.


Turkey on Saturday registered 25,100 new COVID-19 cases, raising its tally of infections to 5,895,841, according to its Health Ministry.

The death toll from the virus in Turkey rose by 112 to 52,088, the ministry said.


Vietnam recorded 7,334 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, taking the total tally in the country to 200,715, according to its Ministry of Health.

Among the 7,333 new community cases, 3,930 were reported in the southern epicenter Ho Chi Minh City, 882 in the nearby southern Binh Duong province, and 709 in the southern Dong Nai province.