Philippines reports 5,434 fresh COVID-19 cases, 26.2pct positivity rate

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 04 2022 04:16 PM | Updated as of Jan 04 2022 04:37 PM

People line up for swab test at a COVID-19 testing facility at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila on January 4, 2022. The government raised the alert level to 3 in response to the sharp increase in the number of cases amid the threat of the omicron variant. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
People line up for swab test at a COVID-19 testing facility at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila on January 4, 2022. The government raised the alert level to 3 in response to the sharp increase in the number of cases amid the threat of the omicron variant. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines on Tuesday reported 5,434 fresh COVID-19 cases, data from the health department showed even as 16 laboratories failed to submit their data.

The positivity rate was at 26.2 percent, based on test results of samples from 24,855 individuals on Jan. 2, Sunday, the latest Department of Health case bulletin showed. This is the highest since Sep. 15 last year, according to Edson Guido, head of the ABS-CBN Data Analytics Team.

Sixteen laboratories, which contribute on average 2.1 percent of samples tested and 1.8 percent of positive cases, were unable to submit their data, the DOH said.

Of the newly reported cases, 5,395 or 99 percent occurred within the recent 14 days. Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Central Luzon are the top regions with cases in the recent two weeks, the DOH said.

The number of new infections is the highest reported in over 2 months or since Oct. 23 last year, according to Guido.

The additional confirmed infections raise the country's cumulative figure to 2,861,119, of which 29,809 or 1 percent are active cases, based on the latest DOH data. 

Of the active cases, 328 are in critical condition, 1,546 are severely ill, and 3,020 are moderate. The remaining include 24,026 mild cases and 889 asymptomatic.

COVID-related deaths increased by 18 to 51,604. Of the new deaths, two occurred this month, eight in December, two in November, three in October, one in August, and two in July, according to the DOH.

There are 611 more recoveries, raising the total number of recuperations to 2,779,706. 

Thirteen duplicates, classified as recoveries, were removed from the total case count, while 14 cases previously tagged as recuperations were reclassified as deaths after final validation, the DOH said.

It added that 121 cases, of which 119 were recoveries, were found to have tested negative and have been removed from the total case count. 

The intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization rate in Metro Manila and nationwide increased to 35 percent and 26 percent, respectively, from 29 percent and 23 percent reported on Monday.

Isolation beds for COVID-19 patients are 32 percent used up in Metro Manila, and 27 percent across the country. Ward beds, on the other hand, are 36 percent and 19 percent utilized in Metro Manila and nationwide, respectively.

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The country has been classified as high risk for COVID-19 following the sharp rise in new cases.

The DOH, in a statement, said there was no shortage of paracetamol and similar drugs for flu as netizens raised concern on the lack of supply of certain brands in drugstores.

"We would like to appeal to consumers however to refrain from hoarding, panic-buying or unnecessary purchases of such medications when not clinically warranted," it said.