MANILA (UPDATED) — The Philippines on Friday recorded 10,726 more COVID-19 cases, as active infections swelled to a record-high 193,000.
This brings the country's total number of recorded cases to 914,971. Friday's cases however do not include results from 6 laboratories that failed to submit data on time.
The ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group (IRG) said the day's cases is the 9th highest announced in a single day so far.
Except for April 13 and April 14, the country has been logging more than 10,000 new infections daily in the past 8 days. The health department explained that the relatively fewer cases reported on the said dates was because of the lower number of laboratories that operated over the weekend.
Remaining active cases in the Philippines reached an all-time high 193,476.
ABS-CBN Data Analytics Head Edson Guido said the figure is also the highest number of active infections in Southeast Asia since the pandemic began.
Of those still battling the disease, 96 percent are experiencing mild symptoms, 2.9 percent are asymptomatic, 0.5 percent are severely ill, while 0.4 percent are critically ill, the Department of Health's (DOH) latest bulletin showed.
Meanwhile, COVID-related deaths rose to 15,738 with 145 additional fatalities. The tally is considered the 15th highest announced by the DOH in a single day, according to the ABS-CBN IRG.
The health department noted that 39 recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation.
This is also the 8th straight day that COVID-related deaths counted more than 100, data showed.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier in the day said the case fatality rate (CFR) in Metro Manila alone is at 1.46 percent. She noted that the CFR is computed based on the number of deaths from the specific disease over the number of confirmed cases "with outcomes."
Out of the 41,905 individuals who underwent testing for COVID-19 on Thursday noon, some 19.7 percent were found to be positive for the disease.
A total of 40 duplicates have been excluded from the overall tally, DOH said. Eighteen of those were recoveries while 1 was a fatality.
Some hospitals in the capital region and nearby provinces remain in critical levels due to a stream of fresh admissions, weeks since stricter lockdown restrictions was imposed in the capital region and 4 nearby provinces to stem the alarming virus spread.
To decongest health facilities, doctors have told mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients to consider home care instead.
The intensive care unit (ICU) beds dedicated for COVID-19 are still at 68 percent utilization rate nationwide, those in Metro Manila are already 84 percent occupied.
Likewise, isolation beds across the country are 50 percent filled up, while the same beds are at 63 percent occupied in Metro Manila.
The inter-agency task force leading the country's COVID-19 response has approved a fourth priority group in the coronavirus vaccination drive, Malacañang announced earlier.
Palace spokesperson Harry Roque said the new priority group would include frontline workers from the food and beverage, food retailing, commuter transport, and hospitality industries.
The fresh priority sector will also include priests, rabbis, imams, and other religious leaders, security personnel assigned in offices, agencies, and organizations identified in the list of priority industries/sectors and frontline workers in news media.
As of April 13, the Philippines has administered only over 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses after more than a month of rollout.
This is still far from the target of 70 million by the end of the year to reach herd immunity.
— With a report from Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News