Active COVID-19 cases back to 100,000
MANILA— The Philippines on Saturday reported 26,458 more COVID-19 cases, a new record high, just as experts believe community transmission of the highly contagious omicron variant is driving the surge of infections.
The day's daily tally shattered the previous record of 26,303 cases nearly 4 months ago or last Sept. 11, 2021, data showed.
This pushed the country's total to 2,936,875, of which 102,017 or 3.5 percent are still battling the respiratory disease.
ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido said the number of active cases is the highest in 3 months or since Oct. 9, 2021.
Positivity rate is at 43.7 percent— also an all-time high since data became available— based on samples collected from 77,004 individuals on Thursday, the Department of Health's (DOH) 4 p.m. bulletin showed.
This means that over 2 out of 5 people screened for the virus tested positive for COVID-19.
Guido also added that the positivity rate is a record high for the 4th straight day.
There were 265 more people who died due to COVID-19, pushing the total to 52,135. This includes 238 people who were first tagged as recoveries, the health department said.
Meanwhile, an additional 1,656 patients recovered from the virus. This raises the total number of recoveries to 2,782,723.
"Intensive care unit (ICU) bed occupancy in NCR is now at 51 percent from 25 percent last week," Guido noted.
Six laboratories failed to submit data on time.
Earlier in the day, infectious disease specialist Dr. Rontgene Solante said there might already be community transmission of the omicron variant, which is also behind the surge of cases in the United States and parts of Europe.
The DOH has yet to confirm community transmission of the said variant of concern but earlier said this could already be assumed. There has been 43 omicron variant cases detected in the country as of Jan. 6.
An uptick in coronavirus cases earlier prompted government to place Metro Manila and nearby Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal provinces under Alert Level 3, which bans face-to-face classes, contact sports, funfairs, and casinos.