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MANILA — The Philippines on Saturday recorded 7,999 new coronavirus infections, the second straight day that the country posted a record high in daily cases.

In a bulletin, the health ministry said total confirmed cases have risen to 656,056 while confirmed deaths have reached 12,930, after 30 more were recorded on Saturday.

The Southeast Asian nation is battling a renewed surge in infections, including those of the new and more transmissible variants, delaying the further reopening of its pandemic-stricken economy.

“The country’s recorded COVID-19 cases remain high. Better to stay home if going out is unnecessary,” the ministry said.

The Philippines also logged 114 COVID-19 cases because of new coronavirus variants, including six infections of the homegrown P.3 variant, after a new series of genome sequencing on 150 samples.

It reported 46 new infections of the B.1.1.7 variant first detected in Britain, and 62 cases of the B.1.351 variant discovered in South Africa. This brings cases for those variants to 223 and 152, respectively.

The Philippines has the second-highest COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia.

(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by William Mallard and Kim Coghill)



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