By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Philippines Department of Health reported an additional 16,044 new COVID-19 infections Sunday, including 215 deaths.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Philippines has reported 1,839,635 total cases and 31,180 deaths.

Health officials are also urging the need to step up vaccinations and immediate isolation and other mitigation efforts as projections in the spike in cases were released.

According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, citing the projections from experts, active cases in Metro Manila could reach 66,000 by August 31 and at least 269,000 by September 30 if the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) would be implemented until the end of next month.

Aside from vaccination and immediate isolation for the infected, Vergeire underscored the need to strictly observe the minimum public health standard, including the wearing of masks even for vaccinated people.

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Vergeire did clarify that these projections are merely based on assumptions and do not necessarily mean active cases will reach those numbers by end of August and September.