Manila [Philippines], January 13 (ANI/Xinhua): The Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines on Wednesday reported 1,453 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the country's total tally to 492,700.
The death toll climbed to 9,699 after 146 more patients died from the coronavirus epidemic. This is the second day for recording over 100 deaths, following 139 deaths on the previous day.
The DOH said in its daily bulletin that 397 more patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 458,523.
The Philippines, which has about 110 million population, has tested over 6.68 million people since the COVID-19 outbreak in January last year.
The Philippines will sign an agreement with British-Swedish drug firm AstraZeneca on Thursday to secure 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, said Carlito Galvez, the National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer, on Wednesday.
"We will sign a tripartite agreement tomorrow for more or less 20 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines," Galvez said in a virtual media briefing.
He said the government, the local government units (LGUs) and the vaccine maker AstraZeneca will sign the "tripartite supply agreement."
"The responsibility of the LGUs is to administer the vaccines," Galvez added.
The Philippines has secured 25 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from China's Sinovac Biotech and an additional 30 million doses from the United States' Novavax.
In November last year, the private sector signed a tripartite agreement to buy 2.6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca to augment the government's procurement of the vaccines.
The only way LGUs or the private sector can access vaccines is through a tripartite agreement among the national government, the LGUs or the private sector, and the vaccine maker.
The Philippines is in talks with at least seven vaccine makers to procure 148 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021.
It aims to vaccinate between 50 million and 70 million people, or more than 60 per cent of the total population this year, in order to achieve herd immunity. (ANI/Xinhua)