Philippines records 28,471 more COVID-19 cases

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 18 2022 04:09 PM | Updated as of Jan 18 2022 04:59 PM

Members of the Manila Health Department (MHD) monitor patients undergoing isolation at the Manila COVID-19 Field Hospital at Rizal Park in Manila on January 17, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Members of the Manila Health Department (MHD) monitor patients undergoing isolation at the Manila COVID-19 Field Hospital at Rizal Park in Manila on January 17, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines on Tuesday recorded 28,471 more COVID-19 cases, the first time in a week it fell below 30,000 new infections, data from the health department showed. 

The positivity rate was at 43.4 percent, based on samples of 51,738 individuals on Jan. 16, Sunday, according to the latest Department of Health case bulletin.

Five laboratories, which contribute on average 1.7 percent of samples tested and 2.1 percent of positive cases, were unable to submit their data, the DOH said.

Of the newly reported cases, 27,735 or 97 percent occurred within the recent 14 days. Metro Manila (9,887 cases), Calabarzon (6,671 cases) and Central Luzon (2,970 cases) were the top regions with cases in the recent 2 weeks.

The number of fresh cases is the ninth highest daily tally since the pandemic began, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.

The Philippines has so far recorded a total of 3,270,758 COVID-19 cases, of which 284,458 or 8.7 percent remain active.

The number of active COVID-19 infections is the third highest ever, following 287,856 active cases announced last Jan. 16, the ABS-CBN IRG said.

It added that 270,784 (95.19 percent) were mild cases, 8,930 (3.14 percent) were asymptomatic, 2,957 (1.04 percent) were moderate cases, 1,484 (0.52 percent) were severe cases, and 303 (0.11 percent) were critical cases.

COVID-related deaths increased by 34, resulting in a total of 52,962 fatalities. Of the new deaths, 33 occurred this month and 1 in July 2020, the DOH said, citing late encoding of death information.

This is the sixth straight day that the daily tally of deaths remained below 100, according to the research group.

There were 34,892 more recoveries, raising the total number of recuperations to 2,933,338. This is the 8th highest daily tally since the start of the pandemic and the highest in more than three months, or since Oct. 3, 2021 when 45,249 recoveries were announced, the research group added.

The intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization rate in Metro Manila and nationwide was at 53 percent and 49 percent, respectively. 

Watch more News on iWantTFC

The DOH has flagged a rise in COVID-19 cases in regions outside Metro Manila and urged local governments to prepare their hospital capacity.

"Nakikita natin ang steep increase in the number of cases sa ibang rehiyon. 'Di natin masabi (We can't say) definitely or with certainty that this is omicron, but based on what we see here in NCR (National Capital Region), we’re seeing the same trend," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

(We're seeing a steep increase in the number of cases in other regions.)

The health agency said it was "too early" to say that COVID-19 cases in the country was declining after independent research group OCTA observed that virus growth rate in Metro Manila has further slowed.

The DOH, meantime, said it was drafting guidelines for the distribution of its COVID-19 homecare kit.

Government has also partnered with drugstores to allow the COVID-19 vaccination of individuals aged 18 and above.