The Philippines has emerged as a hotspot in the western Pacific as novel coronavirus cases surpassed 232,000 on Friday.

The health department of the country said in a statement 3,714 new coronavirus cases were reported, bringing the national total to 232,072. At least 160,549 patients have recovered from the illness, with 29% of the total cases are active infections in the country. Capital Metro Manila is the epicenter of the virus.

The COVID-19 fatalities climbed to 3,737 after 49 more deaths were reported. There are 113 operational laboratories that conduct coronavirus tests to determine the illness. Philippines has conducted 2.7 million tests so far since the outbreak of the virus.

The archipelago nation reported its lowest cases in a month on Thursday with 1,987 infections.

In the southern Bangsamoro autonomous region, eight new infections were reported taking the total caseload to 696, the government said in a statement. It added that 477 patients have recovered from the illness, while 18 patients lost their battle against the virus.

The global death toll now exceeds 869,000, with more than 26.3 million cases recorded in 188 countries and regions since last December. More than half of all patients worldwide — over 17.53 million — have recovered, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

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