MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines on Wednesday reported 22,958 new COVID-19 cases, the second straight day the daily tally remained below 30,000, data from the health department showed.
The positivity rate was at 43.5 percent, based on test results of samples from 62,531 individuals on Jan. 17, Monday, according to the latest Department of Health (DOH) bulletin.
Six laboratories, which contribute on average 1.5 percent of samples tested and 1.9 percent of positive cases, were unable to submit their data, the DOH said.
Of the newly reported cases, 21,691 or 94 percent occurred within the recent 14 days. The top regions with cases in the recent two weeks were Metro Manila (7,861 cases), Calabarzon (4,647 cases) and Central Luzon (2,049 cases).
The number of fresh infections is the lowest in 12 days or since Jan. 7 when 21,819 cases were reported, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.
It is the 14th highest since the pandemic began, following 23,134 cases recorded last Sep. 18, the research group said.
The Philippines has so far confirmed a total of 3,293,625 COVID-19 cases, of which 270,728 or 8.2 percent remain active. This is the 5th highest number of active cases since the pandemic began, following 280,813 active cases announced last Jan. 15, the ABS-CBN IRG said.
Of those still infected with the coronavirus, 304 are critically ill, 1,487 are severe, and 2,970 are moderate cases. Majority, or 257,632 are mild and 8,335 are asymptomatic.
COVID-related deaths increased by 82 to 53,044. The number of newly reported coronavirus deaths has remained below 100 for a week, the ABS-CBN IRG noted.
Of the additional deaths, 56 occurred this month, eight in October last year, 15 in September, and one each in July, May, and January last year, the DOH said, citing late encoding of death information.
Meanwhile, there were 36,611 more recoveries, raising the total number of recuperations to 2,969,853. This is the 8th highest following 38,075 recoveries announced on July 30, 2020, the ABS-CBN IRG said.
Ninety-one duplicates, including 64 recoveries, were removed from the total case count, while 32 cases previously tagged as recuperations were reclassified as deaths after final validation, according to the DOH.
The intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization rate in Metro Manila and nationwide was at 53 percent and 49 percent, respectively.
Two people have died after contracting the omicron COVID-19 variant, both of whom are among 492 additional cases of the lineage recorded in the Philippines, the DOH said earlier in the day.
The new omicron variant cases bring the country's total to 535. Of the additional, 332 were local cases and 160 were Filipinos from abroad, it added.