A medical worker surveys two residents before taking their COVID-19 swab samples in Manila, the Philippines, Dec. 14, 2020. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)
The Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines reported 2,122 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the total number in the country to 456,562.
Friday’s number of daily cases is the first time to hit the 2,000-mark again since Nov. 29. The spike of cases came amid the government’s warning of a surge during the holidays.
The DOH said 778 more patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 420,666. The death toll climbed to 8,875 after 25 more patients died from the viral disease, the DOH added.
The Philippine government said on Friday that foreign nationals with diplomatic and employment visas who traveled starting Dec. 17 can now re-enter the country.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the inter-agency coronavirus task force approved on Thursday the re-entry of foreign nationals with valid and existing diplomatic and pre-arranged employment visas who flew out of the country starting Dec. 17, 2020.
Roque said the foreign nationals must have a valid and existing visa on the date of the arrival.
“They must have a pre-booked quarantine facility, and they must have pre-booked COVID-19 testing at a laboratory operating at the airport.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs suspended in March the issuance of visas on incoming foreign nationals of all nationalities to curb the coronavirus.
The country is still under varying lockdown measures as it grapples with a steady increase of COVID-19 cases. (Xinhua)