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Philippines logs 1,623 more COVID-19 cases; positivity rate at 6.6%

The Philippines on Thursday registered 1,623 additional coronavirus disease infections, increasing the nationwide tally to 2,841,260.

Of the new cases, 1,582 (97%) occurred within the recent 14 days from  December 17 to December 30, 2021. Also, the top regions with cases in the recent two weeks were Metro Manila (1,063 or 67%), followed by Calabarzon (173 or 11%) and Central Luzon (101 or 6%).

According to the Department of Health's (DOH) case bulletin, the fresh infections also brought the active tally to 11,772, consisting of 577 asymptomatic cases, 5,737 mild cases, 3,315 moderate cases, 1,771 severe cases, and 372 critical cases.

The COVID-19 positivity rate also reached 6.6%—up from Wednesday's 4.5%—from a total of 30,933 COVID-19 tests. The World Health Organization recommends a positivity rate of below 5%; above this indicates high transmission rate.

The DOH also said a total of 256 additional recoveries were recorded, pushing the total recoveries to 2,778,115.

The country's death toll due to COVID-19 reached 51,373, with 133 more fatalities.

Of the additional deaths, four occurred in December 2021 (3%), six in November 2021 (5%), 14 in October 2021 (11%), 20 in September 2021 (15%), 23 in August 2021 (17%), six in July 2021 (5%), five in June 2021 (4%), nine in May 2021 (7%), 21 in April 2021 (16%), 15 in March 2021 (11%), one each in February 2021 (1%) and in January 2021 (1%), two in October 2020 (2%), three in September 2020 (2%), two in August 2020 (2%), and one in July 2020 (1%) "due to late encoding of death information to COVIDKaya."

"This issue is currently being coordinated with the Epidemiology and Surveillance Units to ensure information is up to date," said the DOH.

The Philippines' nationwide healthcare system also showed that 20% intensive care unit beds are occupied and 11% mechanical ventilators  are in use.

In Metro Manila, 24% ICU beds are in use while 15% of ventilators are utilized.

Meanwhile, the DOH modified the country's total tally after removing ten duplicates, including six recoveries and one death. Also removed were 143 cases, including 140 recoveries, that turned out to be negative.

Also, the recovery tally was revised after 126 recoveries were reclassified as deaths.

Two laboratories were non-operational on December 28, 2021 while three laboratories did not submit their data to COVID-19 Document Repository System (CDRS).

In the last 14 days, DOH figures showed that the five non-reporting labs contribute, on average, 0.1% of samples tested and 0.0% of positive individuals. — BM, GMA News