MANILA - Metro Manila recorded a "sharp rise" in new COVID-19 cases while the rest of Luzon and the Visayas have also shown an increase, the Department of Health said Wednesday.
The capital region tallied 456 daily new cases in the past 7 days and its positivity rate has increased to 4.4 percent, according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
Nearby provinces or the "NCR Plus" areas, the rest of Luzon, and Visayas showed an increase in cases that is less than 80 per day, Vergeire noted. Mindanao remains on a "low plateau" trend despite reporting a "small increase" of less than 40 cases per day, she added.
The national COVID positivity rate, meantime, has increased to 3.1 percent, according to the DOH spokesperson.
Despite more infections, healthcare utilization rate nationwide remains at a "low risk" with regions' bed occupancy rate ranging from 14.61 percent to 17.82 percent, Vergeire said.
"What would be most important would be nakikita natin there's this continued increase in cases, hindi sumasabay ang severe and critical cases," she told reporters.
"Merong (There are) severe and critical cases we’re reporting but it is not enough to say it’s already signicant. Also, it’s not translating to higher admissions in our hospitals, in our ICUs (intensive care units). Sana (We hope) we can sustain it at this point where it’s just like the omicron situation na mataas nga ang kaso (where cases are high) but mostly mild and asymptomatic."
Vergeire reiterated that vaccination and observing minimum public health standards were key to preventing COVID-19 transmission.
The DOH over the weekend said the capital region might tally up to 1,200 coronavirus infections a day by end of June.
The Philippines logged its first confirmed COVID-19 case on Jan. 30, 2020 in a Chinese woman who arrived from Wuhan City, China where the disease is believed to have first emerged.
As of Tuesday, the total recorded cases number 3,697,200, of which, 4,860 are active, DOH data showed. The death toll stood at 60,476.
More than 70 million people in the country have been fully vaccinated against the respiratory disease, as of Tuesday, with more than 14.7 million receiving their booster doses.