THE Department of Health (DoH) reported 2,434 new coronavirus infections on Sunday — a record increase — bringing the total to 44,254.

The death toll rose to 1,297 after seven more patients died, while recoveries increased by 489 to 11,942, it said in a bulletin. DoH traced the increase in cases to the eased lockdown.

“As the country continues to ease community quarantine measures, the rise in the number of cases today may be attributed to the increased contact among the population,” it said.

Meanwhile, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire told reporters in a Viber message they would stop giving the HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir and anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to coronavirus patients, taking their cue from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO said results showed that these drugs did not cut the death rate. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas