Philippines witnessed a record surge in COVID-19 cases on Friday, registering 37,207 new infections – the highest single day tally since the pandemic began two years ago, the health department said.

The new cases brought the country’s total caseload to 3.129 million, with the death toll rising by 81 to 52,815.

To counter the surge, blamed on the highly contagious omicron variant, the government extended Alert Level 3 in Metro Manila and several other regions until the end of January.

Face-to-face classes for basic education, contact sports, and funfairs are not allowed. Most businesses are also operating at a lower capacity.

While unvaccinated people in Manila and several other regions have been told to stay at home, the transport department has called for the implementation of a ‘no vaccination, no ride/no entry’ policy for public transport in the capital region.

The archipelago country has fully vaccinated nearly 50% of its 110 million population.

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