MANILA - The Philippines on Wednesday posted 10,775 new COVID-19 cases, nearly double from the previous day, data from the Department of Health showed, as the omicron variant has presumably spread in communities.
The positivity rate was at 31.7 percent, based on test results of samples from 44,643 individuals on Jan. 3, Monday, according to DOH data.
Nine laboratories, which contribute on average 2.2 percent of samples tested and 5.3 percent of positive cases, were unable to submit their data, the DOH said.
Of the newly reported cases, 10,688 or 99 percent occurred within the recent 14 days while Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Central Luzon were the top regions with cases in the recent two weeks, the DOH added.
The Philippines's cumulative total of COVID-19 cases climbed to 2,871,745, of which 39,974 or 1.4 percent are active infections, based on the latest case bulletin.
Majority of those still battling the disease, or 33,866, are mild cases. Those in critical condition number 319, while 1,512 are severely ill. The remaining include 2,983 moderate cases and 1,294 asymptomatic cases.
COVID-related deaths increased by 58 to 51,662. Of the new fatalities, eight occurred in December and November 2021 each, 24 in October, 15 in September, and three in August, the DOH said, citing late encoding of death information to COVIDKaya.
There were 605 more recoveries, raising the total number of recuperations to 2,780,109.
Thirty-nine duplicates, of which 35 were classified as recoveries, were removed from the total case count, while 57 infections previously tagged as recuperations were reclassified as deaths after final validation, according to the DOH.
A total of 110 cases were found to have tested negative and have been removed from the total case count, it said. These 110 are recoveries, the DOH added.
The intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization rate in Metro Manila and across the country was at 37 percent and 27 percent, respectively.
Isolation beds and ward beds in the capital region are 39 percent and 45 percent used up, respectively. Nationwide, it is at 31 percent and 23 percent, respectively.
Nearly 70 percent of new infections come from Metro Manila, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said during President Rodrigo Duterte's "Talk to the People" that aired Tuesday night.
The capital region is now under a critical risk classification for having a 2-week growth rate of 1,475 percent and an average daily attack rate (ADAR) of 8.79 per 100,000 population, Duque said.
It is followed by Calabarzon with a 557 percent 2-week growth rate, and Central Luzon with 330 percent 2-week growth rate, he added.
"Naka-limang meetings na kami with the NCR, Region 3, and Region 4-A para gabayan sila kung ano ang kanilang gagawin tungkol sa kanilang paghahanda o pagtugon sa COVID-19," Duque said during a virtual public briefing.
(We have met with NCR, Region 3, and Region 4-A officials five times to guide them on their COVID-19 response.)
Metro Manila on Tuesday recorded 40 percent positivity rate and has a reproduction rate of 5, according to OCTA Research fellow Guido David.
The health department is studying the use of antigen test kits that can be used at home and is in talks with Pfizer to procure its COVID-19 oral treatment, Duque said.