MANILA (2nd UPDATE) — The Philippines on Saturday recorded 12,674 more COVID-19 cases, the country's second-highest single day tally so far, with active cases reaching an all-time high 190,000.
This, as some hospitals in the capital region remain full with COVID-19 admissions while "NCR Plus" (Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna) remains under the strictest lockdown level in a bid to stem the virus spread.
Saturday's new cases raised the country's cumulative tally to 853,209, though it does not include data from 3 laboratories that failed to submit results on time.
COVID-related deaths increased by 225 to 14,744. The day's fatalities is the 6th highest tally announced by the health department so far, according to ABS-CBN Data Analytics Head Edson Guido.
Remaining active infections, a new record-high, jumped to 190,245, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
The DOH also logged 593 new recoveries, bringing the total number of those who recuperated from the disease to 648,220.
One P.1 variant case was detected, while 170 B.1.1.7 variant cases, 192 B.1.351 variant cases and 19 P.3 variant cases were reported, said data from the DOH and the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH).
These were from two batches of 25 samples sequenced on March 28 and 1,336 samples sequenced between March 28 to April 8.
Of the B.1.1.7 variant cases, eight are returning overseas Filipinos, 119 are local cases while 43 are being verified whether they are local or returning Pinoys. Two have died and 168 cases have recovered.
Of the 192 B.1.351 variant cases, one case is a returning overseas Filipino, 143 are local cases and 48 cases are being verified. Two are still active, 3 cases have passed away, and 187 have recovered.
The active P.1 variant case, meanwhile, is a Filipino who returned from Brazil. The case's current address is listed as SOCCSKSARGEN, said the DOH and UP-NIH.
The cases of the P.3 variant number two returning Pinoys and 10 local cases. Seven cases are still being verified. All cases have also reportedly recovered.
Some 97.2 percent of the people still battling the disease are experiencing mild symptoms, while 1.7 percent are asymptomatic, 0.5 percent are severely ill, and 0.4 percent are critically ill.
Out of the 40,868 people who underwent testing for COVID-19 on Friday noon, some 20.7 percent were found positive for the disease.
A total of 19 duplicates have been removed from the total case count, of which 7 turned out to be recoveries while 1 was considered a fatality.
Forty-nine cases initially tagged as recoveries, meanwhile, also turned out to be deaths after the agency's final validation.
The health agency noted that 86 percent of some 700 dedicated intensive care units (ICU) in the capital region are already used up, while 69 percent of some 3,800 isolation beds in the region are likewise occupied.
Fifty-nine percent of some 800 ventilators are currently being used in Metro Manila, the latest bulletin also showed.
Nationwide, 66 percent out of the 1,900 ICUs are already utilized, while 50 percent of the 13,500 isolation beds are likewise filled up.
Ventilators across the country are 46 percent in use.
'HIGHEST 10-DAY TOTAL'
According to Guido, the DOH recorded over 106,000 COVID-19 cases from April 1 to 10. He emphasized that this is the highest 10-day total since the pandemic reached the Philippines.
Malacañang is soon expected to announce new quarantine classifications in the NCR Plus bubble. The enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed in these areas is expected to lapse on Sunday after a 2-week enforcement.
The OCTA Research group early Saturday recommended the extension of the ECQ in the bubble to further slow down the growth of infections.
They said the reproduction number in Metro Manila decreased to 1.23 this week (April 3 to April 9) from 1.88 the week before ECQ, which means the strictest lockdown is slowing the virus spread.
However, one of its fellows, Guido David, warned that the death toll could still rise in the country as long as infections continue to soar.
The research group estimates that the total number of cases in the country will reach 1 million by the end of April.
The Philippines has so far been able to administer a total of 922,898 COVID-19 vaccine doses. as of April 6.
The government aims to vaccinate 70 million of its 108 million population to achieve herd immunity and safely reopen the economy.
Globally, the novel coronavirus infected 134.7 million people, of which 2.9 million people have died while 76.5 million have recovered, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University.