THE Department of Health (DoH) reported 751 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, but said 71% of these cases were from old samples whose test results came out late.

This brought the total cases to 19,748, the agency said in a health bulletin. The death toll rose to 974 after eight more patients died, while 90 more patients have gotten well, bringing the total recoveries to 4,153, it added.

Of the new cases, 221 were fresh or test results validated in the past 3 days, DoH said. It added that 71% or 530 were cases that were validated late.

The agency started classifying new infections after a spike as local laboratories boosted their testing capacities.

The spike also coincided with a relaxed lockdown in many parts of the country including Manila, the capital and nearby cities.

The coronavirus disease 2019 has sickened 6.5 million and killed about 383,000 people worldwide, according to the Worldometers website, citing various sources including data from the World Health Organization.

About 3.1 million people have recovered from the virus, it said. — NPA