PH logs 4,437 new COVID-19 cases, 5th straight day that daily count tops 4,000

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 16 2021 04:32 PM | Updated as of Mar 16 2021 06:06 PM

PH logs 4,437 new COVID-19 cases, 5th straight day that daily count tops 4,000 1
Commuters ride a jeep with plastic barriers to separate passengers in Pasay City on March 4, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - The Philippines on Tuesday reported 4,437 more COVID-19 cases, raising the country’s cumulative total to 631,320. 

This is the 5th straight day that daily infections exceeded 4,000 after the country detected more cases of new COVID-19 variants that are reportedly more transmissible. ABS-CBN Data Analytics Head Edson Guido noted that the trend last happened on Aug. 18-22 last year. 

Active cases stood at 57,736, comprising 9.1 percent of the country's total recorded cases, the Department of Health’s (DOH) latest bulletin showed. 

Guido said the number of active infections is considered the highest since Oct. 3 last year, and may breach 60,000 on Wednesday.

Some 96.6 percent of those still infected with the virus are experiencing mild symptoms or are asymptomatic. A total of 1.3 patients are critically ill and another 1.3 percent are considered severely ill.

Recoveries increased by 166 to 560,736. 

The health department, meanwhile, recorded 11 additional COVID-related fatalities, bringing the death toll to 12,848. 

Out of 24,932 people who last underwent testing for the coronavirus, 2,786 or 11.2 percent were found positive for the disease.

ABS-CBN Data Analytics pointed out that the positivity rate for the virus remained over 10 percent for a week already. 

Seven laboratories failed to submit data to the COVID-19 Data Repository System on Monday, the agency said. 

A total of 10 duplicates, of which 3 were recoveries, have been removed from the total case count.

Four cases initially classified as recoveries also turned out to be deaths after the agency's final validation. 

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The DOH earlier in the day reiterated that health protocol breaches and the loosening of lockdowns were behind the recent spike in new COVID-19 cases. 

Researchers from the OCTA Research group projected that daily cases in the country could reach up to 11,000 if the current trend continues.

The independent research unit said the production (R) or the number of people infected by a virus patient increased to 2.03. An R value above 1 can lead to exponential growth.

The development came as the country’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout happened, with around 216,000 Filipinos, mostly medical frontliners and armed personnel, already inoculated against the disease. 

 More details to follow.