Thu, 15 Apr 2021

MANILA, April 8 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported 9,216 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 828,366.

The death toll climbed to 14,119 after 60 more patients died from the viral disease, the DOH said.

The Philippines, which has about 110 million people, has tested over 9.8 million people since the outbreak in January 2020.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte remains fit and healthy, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Thursday amid reports that several presidential security members recently caught the virus.

"We thank the Filipino people for voicing their concern and wishing the chief executive's strength and good health during this time of COVID-19 pandemic as he continues to discharge his functions as head of the government," Roque said.

Duterte canceled his scheduled public address on Wednesday night, fueling rumors that he was ill.

Roque said the decision to cancel the talks was "in light of the rising number of active COVID-19 cases," adding that Duterte's physical health is "our utmost concern".

Brigadier General Jesus Durante, commander of the presidential security group (PSG), confirmed on Wednesday that 126 PSG personnel had been recently infected.

The president had not been exposed to the infected personnel, he added.

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