MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines posted 4,842 additional COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, as the country began rolling out its initial supply of the Pfizer vaccine sourced from the vaccine-sharing platform COVAX.
The day's new infections raised the country's cumulative total to 1,118,359, of which 53,214 are considered active, the lowest in nearly 2 months or since Mar. 15, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.
The Department of Health (DOH) noted that the day's relatively low number of fresh cases was due to the "low testing output" from accredited laboratories on Monday.
Based on the latest bulletin, 33,529 samples were received by testing laboratories on said day, 12.5 percent of which were found positive for the virus.
COVID-related fatalities, meanwhile, climbed to 18,714 with 94 newly reported deaths.
The day's fatalities include 35 cases initially classified as recoveries, but after validation turned out as deaths, according to the health department.
Recoveries also increased by 8,312 to 1,046,431. The total number of recoveries accounts for 93.6 percent of the country's running tally.
Thirty "duplicates" were excluded from the country's cumulative total, said the DOH. Of these, 21 were recoveries.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Saturday pointed out that the lower number of fresh cases being reported in recent weeks could be attributed to the fewer number of samples being received by testing laboratories.
The ABS-CBN Data Analytics Team earlier noted that the slowdown in testing "affects all data points such as the positivity rate, or the percentage of positive test results relative to the individuals tested."
Metro Manila cities San Juan and Makati earlier in the day kickstarted the use of Pfizer/BioNTech's COVID-19 shots on their residents.
Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines will be distributed in the capital region, Cebu, and Davao as these areas have shown that they could handle the low temperature requirement to maintain the jabs' efficacy, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said.
As of May 11, the government was able to administer more than 2.5 million vaccine doses, of which 2.025 million are first doses and the rest as second dose.
Globally, some 60.6 million people are still battling the novel coronavirus, while more than 3.3 million have died from the disease, data from the Johns Hopkins University showed.
Nearly 95.8 million, on the other hand, have recovered from COVID-19, according to the same tally.