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Surge in COVID-19 cases happening worldwide, not just in Philippines—Palace

Countries across the globe have seen a spike in COVID-19 infections, Malacañang said Wednesday as cases continued to surge in the Philippines.

‘It’s not just happening in the Philippines. Let’s not have this wrong cue that, ‘Uy, the Philippines is having this many increase in cases.’ It’s happening in 70% of the planet right now,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview with CNN Philippines, citing a report by the Nikkei Asian Review on August 2 that 126 countries and regions or about 70% of the globe recorded an increase in newly reported cases.

The Philippines once again broke its own record for the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in a single day after the Department of Health announced 6,352 new infections on Tuesday, bringing the total to 112,593.

After Roque's interview aired, another 3,462 cases was added to the tally, bringing the total to 115,980 and making the Philippines the new leader in virus cases in Southeast Asia, overtaking Indonesia.

Roque said the surge in cases around the world could be caused by a more infectious strain of coronavirus.

“Now overseas, they have confirmed that it has mutated, it has become far more infectious, five times more infectious. We don’t know yet scientifically if it has come to our shores but most likely it has. It's a matter of time, perhaps,” he said.

“But it’s a reality that everyone in this planet will have to face. And despite what the political opposition says, as I said, it’s not just in the Philippines where it’s happening, it’s worldwide.”

To combat the spread of the virus, Roque said the Philippines will have to do aggressive testing, contact tracing, and isolation of cases.

“I think we are heading the right direction because we did not spare any expense. We open as many labs as we could at unprecedented time,” he said. “And we are opening more because we are not satisfied with the current testing.”

The Philippines has so far tested 1.52 million people for COVID-19, according to the Department of Health on Wednesday. — BM, GMA News