The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday reported 9,055 new COVID-19 infections, pushing the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 2,613,070.
The death toll remained at 38,828 as the DOH reported zero deaths due to technical issues.
The caseload is the lowest since August 10. “The relatively lower case count today is due to lower laboratory output (on) Sunday,” the DOH said, adding that seven laboratories failed to submit data.
The Philippines, which has around 110 million population, has tested more than 20 million people since the outbreak in January 2020.
The country has administered more than 46 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Almost 22 million people have been fully vaccinated. The government initially aimed to vaccinate up to 70 million people this year.
However, Carlito Galvez, official in charge of the Philippines’ vaccine procurement, said Monday night the government revised its target to 50-70 million people this year and ramped up to 80 to 90 percent of the targeted population in February 2022.
Galvez said the Department of Finance (DOF) has started negotiating with multilateral financing institutions to procure additional COVID-19 vaccine doses next year.
In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte, Galvez said the DOF is negotiating for 45 billion pesos (roughly 887 million US dollars) funding for the purchase of more vaccines to inoculate the entire population.
The negotiations with four to five vaccine manufacturers are also ongoing for the supply of 90 million vaccine doses early next year, he added.
“We will recalibrate our vaccination programme and modify our critical timelines because of the emergence of highly infectious COVID-19 variants,” Galvez said.
The Philippines has received more than 77.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from different vaccine makers since February 28. China’s Sinovac was the first to deliver and remains the biggest supplier of vaccines to the country.