The Philippines posted 244 new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, elevating the total number of infections to 20,626, the Department of Health (DOH) announced Friday.

168 cases are “fresh” or newly validated and 76 are late cases.

24 of the fresh cases came from Metro Manila, 127 came from Region VII or Central Visayas, and 17 came from other areas.

24 of the late cases came from Metro Manila, 11 came from Region VII, while 41 came from other areas.

“Mababa na po ang bilang ng mga late cases na naitala natin ngayon sapagkat halos tapos na po ang pagva-validate ng complete line list na galing sa ating mga laboratories,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said at a live briefing.

“Inaasahan po natin na mag-uumpisa na po tayo na makapag-report ng fresh cases matapos mag-submit ng complete line list ang nag-iisang laboratoryo na lang na inaantay natin,” she added.

In a bit of good news, recoveries increased to 4,330 with 82 new patients winning the fight against COVID-19.

Death toll, on the other hand, inches to 987 with 3 new deaths. (RJ Espartinez)