THE Department of Health (DoH) reported 5,277 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, bringing the total to 202,361.

The death toll rose by 99 to 3,137, while recoveries increased by 1,131 to 133,460, it said in a bulletin.

There were 65,764 active cases, 91.6% of which were mild, 6.3% did not show symptoms, 0.9% were severe, and 1.3% were critical.

Metro Manila posted the highest number of new cases with 3,157, followed by Laguna with 403, Negros Occidental with 304, Rizal with 237 and Cavite with 228.

The new cases came from tests done by 95 out of 109 licensed laboratories.

Of the new reported deaths, 61 came from Metro Manila, 14 from the Calabarzon region, 12 from Central Luzon, six from Central Visayas, two from Western Visayas, and one each from Cagayan Valley, Northern Mindanao and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

More than 2.2 million people have been tested for the virus, the agency said.

Meanwhile, DoH said in a separate advisory it was monitoring studies on reinfection and post-infection immunity from coronavirus and urged the public to follow minimum health standards.

This followed a statement from the University of Hong Kong, which documented a patient who was infected with the novel coronavirus “one after the other.”

The Health department said no evidence-based evaluation could be done until the details of the study are released in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Data on post-infection immunity are lacking, it said, citing the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Rest assured that the DoH is closely monitoring this issue and we are ready to evaluate and act on it once reliable scientific information is available,” it said.

DoH reminded the public to remain cautious.

“What we do not want to happen is for people who have been infected with COVID-19 in the past to assume they are already immune to the disease,” it added.

Also on Wednesday, researchers from the University of the Philippines (UP) noted that even if it had predicted a flattening of the COVID-19 curve by next month, people should stay cautious.

The downward trend could get reversed, UP OCTA researcher Guido David told an online news briefing.

“We do not necessarily recommend fully opening the economy because this is just the start of the recovery process,” he said. “Flattening the curve doesn’t mean that the pandemic is over. The virus is still alive and spreading,” he said in Filipino.

The UP OCTA fellow said the Philippines was “close to flattening the curve’ but this needs to be sustained. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas and Gillian M. Cortez