MANILA -- (UPDATE) The Philippines on the first day of 2022 logged 3,617 new COVID-19 cases, as health experts warned that another surge could be likely due to increased mobility and relaxed health protocols.
The positivity rate was at 14.8 percent, based on samples of 29,239 individuals on Dec. 30, Thursday. The positivity rate was only at 10.3 percent on Wednesday, and 6.6 percent on Tuesday, data from the Department of Health showed.
This is also the highest positivity rate since October 9, according to ABS-CBN News Data Analytics head Edson Guido.
This was way above the World Health Organization's benchmark of 5 percent positivity rate or lower for at least two weeks. A relatively high rate means more people should be tested for the coronavirus.
The number of fresh infections is the highest in two months, or since October 30, Guido added, when the Philippines posted 4,008 new COVID-19 cases.
A total of 2,847,486 cases have been reported since the coronavirus reached the Philippines last year. Of this figure, 17,374 or 0.6 percent were active infections, based on the latest DOH bulletin.
Guido said the number of active cases is the highest since November 26.
COVID-related deaths increased by 43, for a total of 51,545 fatalities.
There were 468 more recoveries, raising the total number of recuperations to 2,778,567.
Six labs were not able to submit data, DOH added.
The recent increase in virus cases can be attributed to the public's increased mobility due to the holiday season, Professor Jomar Rabajante of the University of the Philippines (UP) pandemic response team earlier said.
On Friday, the DOH said it has detected 10 more cases of the omicron COVID-19 variant in the country, of which 7 are imported and 3 are local infections.
Metro Manila is set to go under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 starting Monday, Jan. 3, due to what acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles called an exponential rise in coronavirus infections in the past few days. It will stay under the heightened Alert Level until January 15.