MANILA (2nd UPDATE) — The Philippines on Friday reported 7,103 new COVID-19 cases, the highest recorded daily tally in the country since the pandemic began over a year ago, with the number of active infections also at its highest in nearly 7 months.
This raises the country’s total number of infections to 648,066.
The day’s figure is considered the highest ever since the coronavirus outbreak hit the country, surpassing the previous record of 6,958 cases announced by the Department of Health (DOH) on Aug. 10 last year.
Friday’s tally still does not include results from 5 accredited laboratories after failing to submit data on time.
This is also the first time and the second-straight day that new COVID-19 cases exceeded 5,000, according to the ABS-CBN Data Analytics team.
Active cases reached 73,264, with 97.3 percent of those still battling the disease experiencing mild symptoms or are asymptomatic.
The ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group also noted that the number of remaining active infections is the highest since Aug. 29.
The number of active cases reported in previous days has been adjusted for duplicates, it added.
The health department logged 13 more COVID-related deaths. The country’s death toll due to the virus stood at 12,900.
Recoveries increased by 390 to 561,902.
Out of the 35,508 individuals who underwent testing for COVID-19, some 5,327 or 15 percent were found to be positive of the disease.
The ABS-CBN Data Analytics team also pointed out that the positivity rate is above 10 percent for the 10th straight day.
A total of 21 duplicates, of which 14 were recoveries, have been excluded from the total case count.
Four cases initially classified as recoveries turned out to be fatalities after the health agency's final validation.
NCR STILL LEADS NEW INFECTIONS, 'HARD' GCQ SOUGHT
ABS-CBN Data Analytics Head Edson Guido said a bulk or 3,779 of Friday's new cases came from Metro Manila. This is the highest daily jump since Aug. 14 last year, he said.
The capital region was followed by neighboring Calabarzon with 1,090 new infections. This is also the highest number of new cases in a day there since Aug. 10.
Central Luzon, meanwhile, tallied 762 new COVID-19 cases, also the highest daily rise since the outbreak began in the country.
Quezon City led the areas in the Philippines with new infections after recording 752 confirmed cases. It is followed by Manila with 609, Bulacan with 439, Makati with 321, and Rizal with 308.
The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on COVID-19 earlier announced the 2-week closure of some industries in areas under general community quarantine, including Metro Manila, to help curb the spread of the disease.
The OCTA Research group, meanwhile, sought for a stricter general community quarantine to address the COVID-19 surge. The group of professors said the status quo "is not enough."
"Hard GCQ" will mean discouraging social gatherings and indoor dining; implementing a more significant work-from-home set-up for industries that can implement it; and use of quarantine pass for those who need to report for work physically, among others, they said.
The surge in new coronavirus cases came as the country rolled out its COVID-19 vaccination program, prioritizing medical frontliners and the elderly.
To date, nearly 241,000 out of 1.7 million health care workers have been vaccinated. The country aims to vaccinate 70 million or two-thirds of its population by yearend to achieve herd immunity.
According to the US-based Johns Hopkins University almost 122 million have been infected by COVID-19 globally, which was believed to have emerged in Wuhan late 2019.
The disease already claimed 2.7 million lives, while some 69 million already recovered, JHU's running tally showed.