PH logs 8,719 more COVID-19 cases, total tops 979,000

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 23 2021 04:08 PM | Updated as of Apr 23 2021 05:34 PM

Residents line up for the Zero Waste Community Pantry set up by the Sangguniang Kabataan members in Purok 6, Barangay Cupang, Antipolo City on April 22, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) — The Philippines on Friday reported 8,719 more COVID-19 cases and nearly 14,000 recoveries, the Department of Health (DOH) announced. 

The day's new infections raised the country's cumulative total to 979,740, with 102,799 remaining active cases. 

This is the 5th straight day that new cases were less than 10,000, data showed. 

Meanwhile, Friday's active cases is a steep drop from Saturday's all-time high 203,000, as the health department continues to log thousands of additional recoveries after it shifted to time-bound recovery tagging this week. 

The move will supposedly address the agency's "skewed" data. DOH had previously announced "mass recoveries" every Sunday. 

Of those still recovering from the respiratory disease, 96.4 percent are experiencing mild symptoms, 1.3 percent are asymptomatic, 0.9 percent are severely ill, while 0.7 percent are in critical condition. 

COVID-related deaths climbed to 16,529 after 159 new fatalities were confirmed. 

According to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group, this is the highest number of deaths in 9 days. 

This is also the 3rd straight day that deaths counted more than 100.

The health department noted that 77 cases initially tagged as recoveries turned out to be deaths after their final validation.

Some 13,812 people recovered from the disease, bringing the total number of recoveries to 860,412, accounting for 87.8 percent of the country's overall tally. 

Six laboratories failed to submit results on time while a laboratory did not operate on Wednesday. 

Out of 50,968 individuals who underwent testing for COVID-19 on Wednesday, some 17.1 percent were found positive for the disease. 

A total of 28 duplicates have been removed from the total tally, the DOH said. Fourteen of those were recoveries.

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Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier in the day finally got inoculated against the virus.

The DOH explained that their chief received the jab only on Friday due to his busy schedule. 

Authorities has so far inoculated nearly 1.4 million Filipinos against the novel coronavirus — still far from the government's 70 million target by the end of the year. 

More vaccine shots from Sinovac will arrive until the end of the month, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said. 

The country will also receive its first COVID-19 jabs from Russia's Gamaleya Institute, the Sputnik V, on Sunday. 

Worldwide, the novel coronavirus already infected nearly 145 million people, of which over 3 million have died, US-based Johns Hopkins University's running tally showed.

Some 83.1 million, meanwhile, have recovered from the virus. 

COVID-19 is believed to have first emerged in Wuhan in late 2019 but its origins still remain as a mystery to experts.