MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines' total COVID-19 cases breached the 3-million mark on Tuesday as it reported 28,007 more infections, the third highest-daily tally so far, data from the health department showed.
The positivity rate was at 44.5 percent, based on test results of samples from 58,409 people on Jan. 9, Sunday, according to the Department of Health's latest case bulletin.
Twelve laboratories, which contribute on average 4.2 percent of samples tested and 5.5 percent of positive cases, were unable to submit their data, the DOH said.
Of the newly reported cases, 27,604 or 99 percent occurred within the recent 14 days. The top regions with cases in the recent two weeks were Metro Manila (15,256 cases), Calabarzon (5,861 cases) and Central Luzon (3,064 cases), the DOH added.
The country's cumulative total cases stood at 3,026,473, of which 181,016 or 6 percent were active infections. Its first case was confirmed on Jan. 30, 2020 in a Chinese woman who arrived from Wuhan City, China where the respiratory disease is believed to have first emerged.
Of those still battling the disease, 170,873 are mild cases, 5,521 are asymptomatic, 2,863 are moderate, 1,464 are severely ill, and 295 are in critical condition.
The number of active cases is the highest since Sep. 18, 2021 when 182,374 were logged, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group. The country's previous rise in cases had peaked mid-September due to the delta variant, the DOH earlier said.
COVID-related deaths increased by 219 to 52,511. Seventeen of the new fatalities occurred this month, two were last December, five in November, 26 in October, 41 in September, 43 in August, 30 in July, 21 in June, 22 in May, two each in April and March, and eight in January last year.
This is the highest daily tally of deaths in three days or since Jan. 8 when 265 deaths were reported, the ABS-CBN IRG said.
There were 4,471 more recoveries, raising the total number of recuperations to 2,792,946. This is the highest daily tally of recoveries since Nov. 6, 2021 when 5,130 were announced, the research group added.
Sixty-four duplicates, of which 52 were recoveries and one was a fatality, were removed from the total case count, while 184 cases previously tagged as recuperations were reclassified as deaths after final validation, the DOH said.
The intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization rate in Metro Manila and nationwide was at 54 percent and 41 percent, respectively.
Isolation beds and ward beds in the capital region are 60 percent and 64 percent used up, respectively. Across the country, they are 44 percent and 41 percent utilized, respectively.
The Philippines is now at "critical risk" for COVID-19 transmission, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said at the latest Cabinet meeting made public early Tuesday, after the nation announced a record-high 33,169 new infections on Monday.
The highly transmissible omicron is now the dominant variant in the country, based on the latest whole genome sequencing run, Duque added.
"So, siya na po 'yung nagdo-dominate na variant, whereas before, it was the delta. So, 60 percent of all the sequence ran, omicron na po," he said.
(This is already the dominant variant, whereas before it was the delta. Sixty percent of all the sequence ran showed the omicron variant.)