Philippines logs 6,560 more COVID-19 infections, highest this month

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 21 2021 05:12 PM | Updated as of Jul 21 2021 09:06 PM

Additional deaths reported lowest in over 3 months 

Philippines logs 6,560 more COVID-19 infections, highest this month 1
People brave the flood as they queue for COVID-19 vaccine outside the San Andres Sports Complex vaccination site in Malate, Manila on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. Mores Heramis, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) — The Philippines on Wednesday recorded 6,560 additional COVID-19 infections, the highest for the month of July so far, data from the health department showed. 

Of the country's 1,524,449 total reported cases, 47,996 or 3.1 percent are active, according to the Department of Health's 4 p.m. bulletin. 

The number of new cases is considered the highest since June 26 when the DOH posted 6,871 additional infections, the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group said.

The positivity rate is at 12.1 percent, based on the test results of 36,168 individuals who underwent screening for the virus on Monday. It is the highest rate since June 19, ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido pointed out.

The DOH said their data collating system encountered "technical issues," so they resorted to a "manual solution" in reporting the day's cases. 

"Cases reported today may not have up-to-date data entries in certain fields (e.g. health status, residence, quarantine status)," the note read. 

"The issue is currently being investigated with the Department of Information and Communications Technology and a resolution is expected in the next few days. Rest assured that the DOH is exerting all efforts to update the cases as soon as possible," the DOH added.

COVID-related deaths rose to 26,874 after the DOH confirmed 32 more fatalities. The ABS-CBN research unit said this is the lowest daily death toll in 15 weeks or since April 5 this year, when 10 deaths were registered. 

A total of 30 recoveries turned out to be fatalities, according to the agency. 

The case fatality rate is at 1.76 percent. 

There were 5,364 additional recoveries, raising the country's total recuperations to 1,449,579 or 95.1 percent of the running tally. 

A total of 14 duplicates have been excluded from the cumulative total, 8 of which are recoveries while 2 are fatalities.

Four laboratories failed to submit data. 

The health department remained on guard with the spread of the more infectious Delta variant, with contact tracing demonstrating that some close contacts of the variant's carriers are positive for the disease. 

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 HOSPITALS RAMP UP PREPS

To date, the intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy in Metro Manila is at 42 percent while the figure is higher nationwide at 55 percent, the DOH's latest bulletin showed. 

Even though the number of ICU beds used up remained low, several hospitals in Metro Manila are ramping up their preparations due to the reported local cases of the Delta variant. 

The Ospital ng Sampaloc in Manila said it has bought more medical equipment to improve their pandemic response, giving the facility a boost in managing moderate to severe COVID-19 infections.

"We are a primary hospital, and we abide by DOH's regulatory requirements that we cannot have an ICU. But then again, because it's pandemic, we know that it will be hard... We are anticipating the problem of transferring patients," Dr. Aileen Lacsamana, hospital director of Ospital ng Sampaloc, said. 

The hospital is also preparing for a larger bed capacity for COVID-19 patients. 

Metro Manila Council Chairman Mayor Edwin Olivarez said he tasked the hospitals in their localities to increase their COVID-19 wards. 

The country recorded more than 15,000 fresh coronavirus cases in early April during the peak of the surge, which had stretched health care capacity in the capital region and surrounding provinces. 

The Philippines currently has 8 active cases of the Delta variant that ravaged India and nearby countries, all of whom remained unvaccinated against COVID-19, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said. 

The health agency had earlier admitted the limitations in the country's genome sequencing capabilities, which is key to detect the presence of virus variants.

- With a report from Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News

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