THE DEPARTMENT of Health (DoH) reported 555 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, bringing the total to 21,895.

The death toll rose to 1,003 after nine more patients died, while 89 more patients have gotten well, raising the total recoveries to 4,530, it said in a bulletin.

Of the new cases, 378 were results that came out in the past three days while 177 were validated late, DoH said.

The DoH said 15,905 were active cases, 4.4% or 698 of whom did not show symptoms and 95.1% or 15,131 were mild cases. It added that less than 1% of the cases showed severe and critical symptoms at 57 and 19 respectively.

The country now had 54 licensed laboratories that can test COVID-19 samples, according to the bulletin.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire on Friday said the daily testing capacity had reached 10,000, allowing the government to expand the targeted testing to include patients who do not show symptoms.

Anna Ong-Lim, president of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines, said relatives and colleagues of positive patients as well as health workers should be covered by the expanded testing.

She also said people with underlying medical conditions and the elderly should be prioritized. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas