PH reports 6,128 new COVID-19 cases, lowest in over a week

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 31 2021 05:00 PM | Updated as of Mar 31 2021 06:12 PM

PH reports 6,128 new COVID-19 cases, lowest in over a week 1
A woman reacts as a health worker administers a COVID-19 vaccine at the San Juan City Arena on March 30, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Active cases breach 130,000 for the first time 

MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines on Wednesday reported 6,128 additional cases, pushing the country’s cumulative total to 747,288, as groups call for an extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the ‘NCR Plus’ bubble.

The day's cases is considered the lowest announced in a single day since Mar. 23, when the health department announced 5,867 new infections, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group (IRG). 

Wednesday's tally though, does not include results from 6 laboratories that failed to submit data on time.

The Department of Health (DOH) said the day's figure is relatively lower due to a "number of laboratory line list" that were not able to upload data from the COVID-19 Data Repository System to the agency's COVIDKaya. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is investigating the incident, the DOH said.

Active cases soared to 130,245, the highest since the start of the pandemic in the country, and currently in Southeast Asia, according to ABS-CBN Data Analytics Head Edson Guido, after surpassing Indonesia's tally on Tuesday.

The DOH posted 106 COVID-related fatalities, bringing the country's death toll due to the virus to 13,297. 

ABS-CBN IRG said the day's fatalities is the highest number of deaths announced in a single day in more than a month or since Feb. 20, when the DOH posted 239 deaths.

Recoveries, meanwhile, increased by 491 to 603,746.

A total of 19.9 percent out of the 39,775 who underwent testing for COVID-19 on Tuesday noon were found positive for the disease, DOH's latest bulletin showed.

Twenty-one duplicates were removed from the total number of infections, according to the DOH. Eight of those were recoveries. 

Forty-seven cases initially tagged as recoveries also turned out to be fatalities after the agency's final validation. 

Some hospitals in the NCR Plus Bubble have already reached high to critical occupancy levels in their COVID-19 allocated intensive care units (ICU) and beds. 

Based on DOH's data as of Wednesday, 79 percent of the over 700 ICUs in the capital region have already been utilized. Sixty-nine percent of the over 3,800 COVID-isolation bed are likewise used up.

Of those currently infected with the virus, 0.6 percent are critical, another 0.6 percent are in severe condition, 0.38 percent are moderately ill, 95.8 percent have mild symptoms, and 2.6 percent are asymptomatic.

The alarming spike in new cases this month is attributed to the public's non-compliance with health protocols, increased movement of people as a result of the gradual reopening of the economy, and the detection of COVID-19 variants.

The government placed the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal - areas under the so-called NCR Plus - under ECQ from last Monday until April 4 to curb the transmission of the disease. It is yet to be seen whether the stricter lockdown will be extended. 

The DOH earlier this week said that if the so-called NCR Plus areas are not placed under the stricter quarantine classification, active cases in the country may soar to 430,000 by the end of April.

Over 128 million globally have been infected with the novel coronavirus, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University (JHU). 

The JHU running tally also showed that over 2.8 million have died from the disease, while 72.7 million already recovered. 

The Philippines reported 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.

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