MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - The Philippines on Saturday posted a new record-high of single-day infections at 7,999, with the number of active infections also the highest in over 7 months just as health workers and experts warned of a looming health crisis over a fresh surge.
The additional number of infections pushed the country's total to 656,056, breaking the record 7,103 new cases reported just the day before.
This is also the second straight day that new COVID-19 cases exceeded 7,000, data showed. The new peak came as the Philippines marked a year under lockdown.
Active cases reached 80,642, the highest number of active infections since Aug. 15 last year, when the country had 83,109, according to the ABS-CBN Data Analytics team.
This is also the second highest number of active infections since the pandemic started, ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido said.
Majority or 97.5 percent of the patients with active infections have mild cases or are asymptomatic for the disease. A total of 1 percent of patients are severely ill, while 0.9 percent are critical, the latest bulletin showed.
The health department recorded 597 additional recoveries. Recoveries are now at 562,484.
Meanwhile, 30 more deaths were recorded, raising the death toll due to the virus to 12,930.
The day's figure does not include results from 6 laboratories that failed to submit data to the COVID-19 Data Repository System on Friday.
The DOH said that 9 "duplicate" cases were excluded from the country's cumulative tally, of which 5 were found as recoveries.
A total of 10 cases initially classified as recoveries turned out to be deaths after the agency's final validation.
Out of the 30,131 individuals who underwent testing for COVID-19 on Friday noon, some 4,390 or 14.6 percent were also found to be positive for the disease.
The ABS-CBN Data Analytics Team said the positivity rate is above 10 percent for the 11th straight day.
BREAKDOWN OF NEW CASES
Most or some 4,059 of the new infections recorded on Saturday came from Metro Manila, Guido noted. The region has been reporting a bulk of the fresh infections in recent weeks.
It is the biggest daily jump in the capital region, home to about tenth of the Philippine population, in over 7 months or Aug. 10.
NCR was followed by Calabarzon with 1,348 new cases. This is the highest daily tally reported in the region since Aug. 4 last year, he said.
Quezon City, meanwhile, topped again the areas in the country with the most number of cases reported in a day with 870. The city was followed by Manila with 689, Bulacan with 534, Cavite with 493, and Rizal with 336, he said.
The DOH, in a statement, urged the public to stay in their homes for the upcoming Holy Week season. They also told Filipinos to observe minimum health protocols such as wearing of face masks, face shield, and physical distancing when going to public places.
"Wth the continued rise in the number of cases being observed in the country, along with the threat of increased transmission posed by the expected higher mobility over the upcoming Holy Week, the DOH strongly urges the public to stay at home and instead opt for online masses," it said.
If a person is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, the health agency said he or she should immediately contact their respective Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams for isolation or testing.
The OCTA Research group earlier in the day projected daily infections to reach 10,000 by the end of March should infections become uncontrollable.
Metro Manila, which is under general community quarantine, remains as the virus epicenter. The cities in the region have been tallying the bulk of newly-recorded cases in recent weeks, and enforced surgical lockdowns, curfews, and a liquor ban, among other restrictions, in a bid to arrest the surge.
Health authorities earlier said the surge in cases is due to loose compliance with quarantine restrictions, vaccine optimism and the spread of new highly transmissible variants.
Health care workers have, meanwhile, expressed exhaustion and low morale due to the renewed rise in cases, which they are fighting in the frontlines.