Active cases also highest since October
MANILA (UPDATE) — The Philippines on Thursday recorded 3,749 new coronavirus infections, the highest in a day since September last year, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 607,048.
According to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group, the additional cases is the highest since September 19, 2020, when newly reported infections totaled 3,962.
Four laboratories failed to submit their results on time.
The number of additional daily cases in recent weeks has been higher than those reported in January and February. The increase has been attributed mainly to the spread of COVID-19 in the National Capital Region.
The DOH also announced 63 new COVID-related deaths, or a total of 12,608 fatalities, which accounts for 2.08% percent of the cumulative total cases.
The additional deaths are the highest announced in a single day in the last two weeks.
There are also 406 new recovered patients, or a total of 546,671 recoveries.
This brings the number of active cases to 47,769, which is also the highest since October 24 last year, according to the ABS-CBN Data Analytics Team. On that day, the DOH COVID-19 bulletin showed that active cases stood at 47,773.
Of those currently battling the disease, 91.6% have mild symptoms, 4.4% are asymptomatic, 1.6% are in critical condition, 1.6% have severe symptoms, and 0.77% have moderate symptoms.
Nine cases, 4 tagged as recovered, were removed from the official tally for being duplicate entries.
The World Health Organization said this is not considered a second wave but a spike in the ongoing wave that started last year.
The OCTA Group said daily tally of cases can reach 6,000 by the end of March if the trend continues. The group suggested that the spike in cases may be due to the more transmissible variants detected in Metro Manila and other areas.
On Aug. 10 last year, the DOH reported 6,958 new COVID-19 cases, over 4,100 of which were from Metro Manila.
Dr. John Wong, a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force’s technical working group on data analytics, said on Wednesday that if variants are allowed to spread in the country, new cases may increase nine-fold.
However, both the WHO and the DOH previously said that majority of the new cases are not from transmissible variants and are mostly due to non-compliance with health protocols.
Malacañang said Thursday that contact tracing in the country was still far from ideal with local governments using different apps to keep track of COVID-19 patients, and probable and suspect cases.
This despite the Department of the Interior and Local Government saying the country has enough people for contact tracing.
During the first week of March alone, almost 50,000 people were accosted for violating health protocols such as the wearing of face masks and curfews.
The Philippines is currently rolling out its COVID-19 vaccines to health workers, with more than 35,000 receiving the shots, as of Sunday.
There are more than 48.5 million people currently infected with COVID-19 worldwide. Since the start of the pandemic, 118 million people have contracted the disease, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. Of those, 2.6 million have died and 66.8 million have recovered.