MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines confirmed 4,600 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the country’s total to 2,851,931.
The positivity rate was also at 19.6 percent, way above the 5 percent recommended rate by the World Health Organization, and the highest level since Sept. 20 last year.
The Department of Health meanwhile also reported 535 new recoveries, pushing the total number of Filipinos who recovered from the disease to 2,778,943.
This means that the country has a total of 21,418 active cases as of 4 p.m. Sunday, which is the highest since Nov. 30 last year.
Twenty five new deaths from COVID-19 were also reported, bringing the country’s death toll from the disease to 51,570.
Two laboratories were non-operational while 9 labs were not able to submit data, according to the DOH.
In just 5 days, the country's positivity rate has more than quadrupled from 4.5 percent on Dec. 27 to 19.6 percent on Dec. 31, while the daily tally of fresh cases ballooned more than fourteenfold in just 7 days from 318 on Dec. 27 last year to 4,600 this Sunday.
The National Capital Region has witnessed a rise in cases recently amid the easing of quarantine restrictions.
An independent research group said the Philippines will continue to see a rise in COVID-19 infections in the coming days, with the numbers possibly surpassing figures from past surges.
At least 14 cases of the highly transmissible omicron variant of the novel coronavirus have so far been detected in the country.
Meanwhile, the government missed its own target to vaccinate 54 million people by the end of 2021.
Worldwide, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 289.2 million people and caused over 5.44 million deaths since it was first reported in Wuhan, China in late 2019 according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
The United States remains the most badly affected country with over 54.8 million infections and over 825,000 deaths.
The Philippines’ first COVID-19 case was a 38-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan, China.
The first COVID-19 death outside of China, was also recorded in the Philippines last year.