Philippines logs 4,084 new COVID-19 cases, 20.7pct positivity rate

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 03 2022 04:04 PM

Scores of people shop at the Phase 1 market in Bagong Silang, Caloocan on December 31, 2021, New Year’s eve. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Scores of people shop at the Phase 1 market in Bagong Silang, Caloocan on December 31, 2021, New Year’s eve. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of Health on Monday announced 4,084 new COVID-19 cases and 20.7 percent positivity rate as it classified the country as "high risk" for virus infections.

Of the newly reported cases, 4,057 or 99 percent occurred within the recent 14 days. Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Central Luzon were the top regions with cases in the recent two weeks, the DOH said.

The positivity rate was at 20.7 percent, based on test restyles of samples from 18,587 individuals on Jan. 1, Saturday. 

Two laboratories were non-operational on Saturday, while 21 others were unable to submit their data, the DOH said. These 23 laboratories contribute on average 5.1 percent of samples tested and 5.2 percent of positive cases, it added.

Of the total 2,855,819 cases, 24,992 or 0.9 percent are active infections, according to the latest case bulletin. The DOH said 331 of the active cases are critical, while 1,563 are severe.

COVID-related deaths increased by 16 to 51,586. Of the newly reported deaths, 11 occurred last December, three in October, and one each in September and August, the DOH said, citing late encoding of death information.

There were 497 more recoveries reported, raising the total number of recuperations to 2,779,241. 

Eighteen duplicates, of which 15 were recoveries, were removed from the total case count, while 7 cases previously tagged as recuperations were reclassified as deaths after final validation, according to the DOH.

The agency said 178 cases were found to have tested negative and have been removed from the total case count. These include 177 recoveries.

The intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization rate in Metro Manila and across the country was at 29 percent and 23 percent, respectively. 

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The Inter-Agency Task Force Against COVID-19 placed Metro Manila under Alert Level 3 from Jan. 3 to 15 following an increase in virus cases.

Under the alert level, face-to-face classes, contact sports, fun fairs, visitors in residences, and live voice/wind instrument performances are prohibited, according to acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles.

The DOH assumes that there is already local transmission of the omicron variant but whole genome sequencing is needed to confirm this, said its spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.

"Sa ibang bansa, according to our experts, ang pagtaas ng kaso nagdo-double ang numero ng mga kaso every 2 days. Dito po sa Pilipinas, nakikita na po natin ang trend na ganyan. Kaya ang ating assumption ay nakarating na sa ating komunidad ang omicron," she told reporters.

(In other countries, according to our experts, virus cases double every 2 days. We can see that trend here in the Philippines. That's why our assumption is omicron is now in the communities.)