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Philippines’ COVID-19 positivity rate now at 12.9% — OCTA

The nationwide COVID-19 positivity rate increased to 12.9% on Wednesday, according to independent monitoring group OCTA Research.

Data by OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David showed that the Philippines’ positivity rate — or the percentage of people who were found positive for COVID-19 among the total number of individuals tested — went up from 11.7% on April 25, to 12.9% on April 26.

This was after the Department of Health (DOH) registered 506 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, increasing the nationwide overall tally to 4,090,215.

With this trend, OCTA is projecting new cases nationwide to rise as high as 800 to 1,000 on Thursday.

Positivity rate in the National Capital Region alone also grew to 12.3% on Wednesday from last week’s 8.1%.

David earlier said the rising cases may be due to the COVID-19 Omicron subvariant XBB.1.16, dubbed as “Arcturus,” spreading in the country.

The DOH announced the detection of the first case of Arcturus — a variant under monitoring by the World Health Organization (WHO) and European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) — on Tuesday.

The case was from Iloilo province and was asymptomatic, and has already recovered, according to the DOH.

The agency said that Arcturus is a sublineage of the Omicron variant, which has the ability to evade immunity and is said to be more transmissible. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News