MANILA (UPDATE) — The Philippines recorded another record-high number of new COVID-19 infections at 10,016, pushing the country's total cases to 731,894 on Monday as a stricter community quarantine classification is being imposed on Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
This is the 4th straight day that the daily tally of COVID-19 cases exceeded 9,000.
Only 3 laboratories failed to submit their results, the Department of Health said.
There are 16 new COVID-19 related deaths reported, raising the total fatalities to 13,186, which accounts for 1.8 percent of the cumulative total cases.
The DOH said 6 of the deaths occurred in March, and 1 in January. The rest are from last year — 1 in November, 3 in October, 2 in July, 1 in June, and 1 in April.
Total recoveries, meanwhile, went up by 78 to 603,213.
The total number of active cases or current infections stood at 115,495, or 15.8% of the total. Active cases reached a record-high on Saturday at 118,122.
There were 14 cases, 8 tagged as recoveries, that were removed from the official tally due to duplicate entries.
There were also 11 cases tagged as recovered that turned out to be deaths after final validation.
Due to the continued surge of COVID-19 cases in the country, the government placed the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal under enhanced community quarantine from Monday until April 4.
The DOH said Monday morning that if the so-called NCR Plus are not placed under stricter measures, active cases in the country may reach 430,000 by the end of April.
The agency said health care utilization rate for NCR is now at 63% while it is at 58% in the Calabarzon. This means more than half of the beds and machines allocated for COVID-19 patients have been used up.
However, it also pointed out that 41% of those admitted in hospitals are asymptomatic and mild cases.
A cause for concern though is the intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rates, which are already at 70% to 100% in the NCR Plus.
The rise in cases has been attributed by the government to the public’s non-compliance with health protocols, as well as the presence of more transmissible variants.
The government, which has been criticized for its slow rollout of vaccines, has so far inoculated more than 650,000 Filipinos against COVID-19, out of the targeted 70 million by the end of the year.
There are almost 52.3 million people currently infected with COVID-19 worldwide. Since the start of the pandemic, almost 127.2 million people have contracted the disease, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. Of those, almost 2.8 million have died and more than 72.1 million have recovered.
The Philippines confirmed its first COVID-19 case on Jan. 30 last year in a Chinese woman who arrived from Wuhan City, China where the disease is believed to have first emerged in late 2019.