MANILA (UPDATE) — The Department of Health logged 1,783 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the country's total to 507,717.
The additional data do not include reports from 4 laboratories that failed to submit their results on time.
Topping the list of areas with the most number of new cases are Quezon City with 99, Rizal province with 83, Manila City with 78, Bulacan province with 69, and Cavite province with 66.
The DOH also reported 74 additional COVID-related deaths, the highest since January 15. It is unclear yet if the deaths occurred this January or in the previous months.
The death toll stood at 10,116.
According to ABS-CBN Data Analytics, the current 1.99% fatality rate is the highest since August 2 last year.
The DOH also reported 500 additional recovered patients or a total of 467,475 recoveries.
Of the 30,126 active cases, 84.8% have mild symptoms, 8% are asymptomatic, 4.4% are in critical condition, 2.5% have severe symptoms, and 0.4% have moderate symptoms.
ABS-CBN Data Analytics said the last time the country had more than 30,000 active cases was last December 12.
The DOH removed 5 cases, 3 tagged as recovered, from the official count due to duplicate entries.
There were also 15 cases initially tagged as recovered but turned out to be deaths.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire reiterated their earlier observation that the increase in COVID-19 cases was mostly coming outside of the Philippine capital.
“Outside of Metro Manila po talaga, nakikita natin ang medyo pagtaas ng kaso at atin pong binabantayan. Makikita po natin sa region ng CAR, sa Region II, sa Region V, sa Region VII, XI, XII and BARMM,” Vergeire said during a Laging Handa briefing.
(Outside of Metro Manila, we are really seeing an increase in cases, which we are monitoring. We can see it in CAR, Region II, Region V, Region VII, XI, XII and BARMM.)
Vergeire said they are assuming it is due to the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday season.
“Nag-holiday po tayo, nag-uwian po ang ating mga kababayan. Maaari sa kanilang mga probi-probinsiya, nagkaroon din po siguro ng mga pagkakasalu-salo and celebration. And all of these things might have contributed to the increase in the number of cases in the other areas,” she said.
(We had the holidays. People went home to their provinces and they probably had gatherings and celebrations.)
Vergeire said they are also looking at other factors such as the implementation of health protocols.
The OCTA Group recently projected that the total number of cases in the Philippines will reach 530,000, although it may go as low as 525,000 or as high as 540,000, depending on the rate of transmission of the disease.
There are 41.4 million people currently infected with COVID-19 worldwide. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 96.9 million people have contracted the disease, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. Of those, more than 2 million have died and almost 53.5 million have recovered.