PH hits highest number of active COVID infections with 32, 744 new cases

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2022 04:09 PM | Updated as of Jan 21 2022 04:30 PM

A Catholic devotee prays near a barricade as streets leading to the Sto Nino Church remain closed after the suspension of activities in celebration of the Feast of Sto Nino. Masses at the Sto Nino de Tondo Church have been streamed onlie to allow devotees to pay tribute to the Holy Child Jesus on its feast day. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
A Catholic devotee prays near a barricade as streets leading to the Sto Nino Church remain closed after the suspension of activities in celebration of the Feast of Sto Nino. Masses at the Sto Nino de Tondo Church have been streamed onlie to allow devotees to pay tribute to the Holy Child Jesus on its feast day. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines on Friday reported its highest number of active COVID-19 cases so far, of which 95 percent were mild cases, data from the Department of Health showed.
 

The Philippines has so far tallied a total of 3,357,083 COVID-19 infections, since it detected its first COVID-19 case in a female traveler from Wuhan, China in 2020. Of the total figure, 291,618 or 8.7 percent remain active, according to the DOH.

Of the number of active infections, 277,833 (95.27 percent) are mild cases, 9,015 (3.09 percent) are asymptomatic, 2,979 (1.02 percent) are moderate cases, 1,487 (0.51 percent) are severe cases, and 304 (0.10 percent ) are critical cases.

Some 32,744 new virus cases were also reported, the 7th daily highest since the pandemic began, following 33,169 cases announced on Jan. 10, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.

Of the newly reported cases, 31,456 or 96 percent occurred within the recent 14 days. NCR (6,917 cases), Calabarzon (6,398 cases) and Central Luzon (4,122 cases) were the top regions with cases in the recent two weeks, the DOH said.

The positivity rate remained at a high 44 percent, based on samples of 75,335 individuals on Jan. 19, Wednesday. This is way above World Health Organization's benchmark of 5, which calls for more testing. 

Three laboratories, which contribute on average 0.8 percent of samples tested and 0.9 percent of positive cases, were unable to submit their data, the DOH said. 

COVID-related deaths increased by 156, resulting in a total of 53,309 fatalities. This is the highest since Jan. 11, 2022 when the DOH announced 219 deaths, the ABS-CBN IRG said.

Of these newly reported deaths, 66 occurred this month, 9 in December, 7 in November, 19 in October, 27 in September, 13 in August, 2 in June, 2 in May, 2 in January last year, and 1 in December 2020.

There were 16,385 more recoveries, raising the total number of recuperations to 3,012,156. This is the lowest since Jan. 14, when 9,027 recoveries were announced, according to the research group.

Some 139 duplicates, including 82 recoveries, were removed from the total case count while 108 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 49 percent and 51 percent, respectively. 

Local governments have been directed to prepare for an increase in COVID-19 cases as more areas were escalated to Alert Level 4, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

Some areas with high healthcare utilization rate retained their alert level classification as their hospital bed allocation were less than 30 to 50 percent, she added.

Public hospitals must now increase their COVID-19 bed capacity to 50 percent of their total beds, while private facilities must allot at least 30 percent of beds for virus patients, according to Vergeire.

"Kailangan na rin pong mag-stockpile ng kinakailangang gamot sa pagma-manage ng COVID cases," she told reporters.

(Hospitals need to stockpile on medicines used for managing COVID cases.)

The public is also urged to double mask or wear a cloth mask over their surgical face mask to receive more protection against virus transmission.