MANILA (2nd UPDATE) — The Philippines recorded 11,429 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday, bringing the country's total cases to over 900,000, as coronavirus-related fatalities counted over a hundred daily for already exactly a week.
The country has now logged a total of 904,285 coronavirus infections, of which 183,527 or 20.3 percent are active cases, the Department of Health (DOH) said in its latest bulletin.
ABS-CBN Data Analytics Head Edson Guido noted that the last 100,000 cases of the Philippines' cumulative total were recorded in just 10 days.
The additional cases announced Thursday do not include results from 7 testing laboratories that failed to submit data on time.
According to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group (IRG), the tally of new infections is considered the 6th highest that the health agency announced.
The country in the past 2 days logged less than 10,000 fresh infections, which the health department attributed to the lower number of laboratories that operated last Sunday and Monday.
The ABS-CBN IRG said the number of active infections as of Thursday is the second highest that the DOH announced since the pandemic began, following April 10's 190,197 active cases.
The number of active cases reported in previous days has been adjusted for duplicates, the research unit noted.
Of those currently battling the disease, 96 percent are experiencing mild symptoms, 2.8 percent are asymptomatic, 0.5 percent are severe, 0.4 percent are critical, and 0.3 percent have moderate symptoms.
Meanwhile, the DOH also reported 148 new COVID-related deaths, pushing the country's coronavirus death toll to 15,594.
This is the 7th straight day that newly-announced fatalities exceeded 100. The number of COVID-related deaths reported from April 9 to 14 ranged from 137 to 401.
The DOH said that 68 cases initially classified as recoveries turned out to be deaths after the agency's final validation.
Total recoveries increased by 856 to 705,164, which account for 78 percent of the country's total reported cases.
Out of 43,706 people who underwent testing for COVID-19 on Wednesday noon, 19.1 percent were found positive for the virus.
A total of 24 duplicates were removed from the total case count. Ten of those were recoveries while 1 was a fatality.
HEALTH CARE CAPACITY
Since March, the country has been logging record fresh infections and deaths, resulting in hospitals getting overwhelmed with patients.
While the intensive care unit (ICU) beds dedicated for COVID-19 are still at 66 percent utilization rate nationwide, those in Metro Manila are already 85 percent occupied.
Likewise, isolation beds across the country are 51 percent filled up, while the same beds are at 65 percent occupied in Metro Manila.
Public health experts have asked mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients to opt for home care instead, in a bid to decongest hospitals in the capital region and 4 nearby provinces (Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan, and Cavite) - also called collectively as the "NCR Plus".
President Rodrigo Duterte placed the same areas under modified enhanced community quarantine until the end of the month to stem the spread of the virus.
As of April 13, the government said it has already administered more than 1.25 million doses of 2 brands of COVID-19 vaccine candidate over a month since it started its inoculation program.
Based on government data, there are already 162,065 individuals who are fully vaccinated, having received 2 doses of the vaccine, while 1,093,651 others have received their first dose.
The Philippines aims to vaccinate up to 70 million Filipinos by the end of the year to reach herd immunity.