MANILA (UPDATE) — The Philippines on Tuesday posted 8,571 more COVID-19 cases, days after the government eased lockdown restrictions in the capital region and 4 nearby provinces.
This brings the country's total number of coronavirus infections to 884,783.
According to the health department, the day's relatively low figure of newly-reported COVID-19 cases was due to the fewer testing laboratories that operated on Sunday, April 11.
"Noong araw ng Linggo, 36 na laboratoryo ang hindi nagsagawa ng testing operations," the Department of Health (DOH) noted.
(On Sunday, 36 laboratories did not conduct testing operations.)
The health agency also logged 137 new fatalities, raising the death toll to 15,286.
Active infections reached 165,534, accounting for 18.7 percent of the country's cumulative total cases. Of these, 96.9 percent are experiencing mild symptoms, while 1.8 percent are asymptomatic, 0.5 percent are severely ill, and 0.4 percent are critically ill.
The ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group said Tuesday's number of active cases is considered the 5th highest since the pandemic reached the Philippines, following April 3, 2021's 165,602 tally.
The research group noted that the number of active cases reported in previous days has been adjusted for duplicates.
Recoveries, meanwhile, increased by 400 to 703,963, which account for 79.6 percent of the total recorded cases.
ABS-CBN Data Analytics Head Edson Guido noted that the country has been recording an average of over 10,300 new COVID-19 cases daily in the past week.
Out of the 27,900 individuals who last underwent testing for the virus, 18.3 percent turned out positive for the disease.
Meanwhile, 13 duplicates have been excluded from the country's overall COVID-19 tally. Eight of those were recovered cases.
A total of 54 cases initially tagged as recoveries turned out also to be deaths after the health agency's final validation.
Nine DOH-accredited laboratories failed to submit data on time.
Guido had earlier said that the number of new coronavirus cases dips during Tuesdays and Wednesdays because of delayed test results from laboratories during the weekends.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire had admitted this observation, as some laboratories, most especially the private ones, stop operations on weekends to give way for disinfection.
ICU BEDS IN NCR 85 PCT UTILIZED
Hospitals in the capital region and nearby provinces are still filled up due to a stream of fresh admissions, weeks since stricter lockdown restrictions was imposed to stem the alarming virus spread.
To decongest health facilities, doctors have told mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients to consider home care instead.
Based on the DOH's latest bulletin, 85 percent of some 700 dedicated intensive care units (ICU) in the capital region are already used up, while 70 percent of some 3,800 isolation beds in the region are likewise occupied.
Some 62 percent out of 800 ventilators are currently being used in Metro Manila, the bulletin also showed.
Nationwide, 66 percent out of the 1,900 ICUs are already utilized, while 51 percent of the 13,500 isolation beds are also filled.
Ventilators across the country are 47 percent in use.
In the coming months, the inter-agency task force will be adding more than 2,000 beds in different areas for moderate and severe cases, as well as for mild and asymptomatic cases, National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said.
The Philippines has administered 1,139,644 doses since March 1, said Palace spokesman Harry Roque.
According to ABS-CBN News' monitoring, it represents 0.21% of the target 70 million Filipinos to be vaccinated by the end of the year to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus.