DOH says veering away from weekly mass recoveries
MANILA (UPDATE) — The Philippines on Tuesday logged 7,379 more COVID-19 cases and over 21,000 new recoveries, according to the health department.
The day's new cases, the lowest in 2 weeks, bring the total number of COVID-19 infections in the country to 953,106.
The Department of Health (DOH) attributed the low number of cases to 19 testing laboratories that did not operate on Sunday. Eight laboratories, meanwhile, failed to submit results for Tuesday's tally.
Active cases reached 127,006, which account for 13.3 percent of the country's total recorded cases.
The death toll rose by 93 to 16,141.
Recoveries, meanwhile, increased by 21,664 to 809,959. Total recoveries comprise 85 percent of the country's overall tally.
According to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group, this is the 9th highest number of recoveries announced by the DOH.
This is also the 3rd straight day that recoveries counted more than 9,000, data showed.
The DOH said that the country would see a relatively high number of recoveries from COVID-19 in the coming days as it veers away from weekly mass recoveries every Sunday.
Such mass recovery system involves tagging asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 cases as recovered after 14 days.
The time-based tagging of recoveries already started on Monday, according to the agency.
Out of the 27,040 people who underwent testing for COVID-19 on Monday, some 17.9 percent tested positive for the disease.
A total of 18 duplicates were removed from the overall tally, of which 7 were recoveries.
Some 20 cases initially tagged as recoveries also turned out to be deaths after the health agency's final validation.
ABS-CBN Data Analytics Head Edson Guido said the total number of COVID-19 cases reported in the country so far this year already exceeded that of last year.
Guido said the duplicates removed by the DOH have already been taken into account in the computation.
Based on DOH's latest bulletin, intensive care unit (ICU) beds dedicated for COVID-19 patients nationwide are already 67 percent occupied, while isolation beds and ward beds are 49 percent and 56 percent filled up, respectively.
In Metro Manila, 84 percent of ICU beds, 61 percent of isolation beds, and 70 percent of ward beds are already used up.
Already facing one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in Asia, the Philippines has seen a second wave of infections that is stretching health care workers in the capital like never before.
Stricter lockdowns in the capital region, an urban sprawl of 16 cities and a municipality that is home to at least 13 million people, appears to have done little to ease the strain on the medical system.
Vaccination czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said that the country could receive nearly 14 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from 4 pharmaceutical companies within the second quarter this year.
Government data showed that as of April 18, nearly 1.5 million vaccine doses have been administered in the country. Currently, only medical frontliners, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities are being inoculated.
- With a report from Reuters