MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines on Thursday reported 5,828 new COVID-19 cases, as the health department also confirmed more local cases of the Delta variant.
Based on the Department of Health's (DOH) latest bulletin, the country now has 1,530,266 total recorded COVID-19 infections, of which 50,562 or 3.3 percent are active.
The ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group said that the number of those still battling the disease on Thursday is the highest in nearly 3 weeks or since July 2, when active cases stood at 51,927.
The number of active cases in previous days has been adjusted for duplicates, the research unit said.
The positivity rate is at 12 percent, based from the samples of 47,869 individuals who underwent testing for the virus on Tuesday.
The health department said there are still "technical issues" hounding its data collating system COVIDKaya, which was why they resorted to reporting the day's cases manually.
Thursday's new cases, according to the agency, may not have "up-to-date data entries in certain fields" such as health status, residence, and quarantine status, among other things.
"The issue is currently being investigated 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 note read.
The virus also claimed 17 additional lives, raising the death toll to 26,891.
The newly-announced fatalities is the lowest in almost 4 months, or since April 5, when the agency reported 10 deaths, the ABS-CBN research team noted.
This is also the fourth straight day that new deaths were less than 100, data showed.
Most or 15 of the reported fatalities on Thursday were initially tagged as recovered.
The case fatality rate is at 1.76 percent.
Meanwhile, there were 3,257 more recoveries, bringing the total number of recuperations to 1,452,813 or 94.9 percent of the running tally.
A total of 11 cases have been excluded from the case tally, 8 of which are recoveries, the DOH said.
Five laboratories failed to submit data on time.
SURGE IN NCR AT ITS 'EARLY STAGES'
Earlier in the day, the DOH announced the detection of 12 additional cases of the Delta variant that ravaged India, stretching the country's health care capacity at its peak.
To date, Philippines has recorded a total of 47 cases of the said variant, of which 8 are active.
The OCTA Research group noted a spike in virus infections in Metro Manila, signaling possible "early stages" of a surge reminiscent of the situationin April.
In its latest monitoring, the OCTA pointed out that Metro Manila's reproduction number (R) in the past week (July 15 - July 21) increased to 1.15, which means that a virus carrier is infecting an average of more than one individual.
ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido said the capital region's 1,027 new cases, based on DOH's data, is the highest reported in nearly 2 months or since June 10.
It is also the first time that additional infections in the region breached 1,000 during the same period, Guido added.
The 7-day average of reported cases in Metro Manila stood at 810, which is 27 percent higher than the previous week, he said. It is the highest since June 15.
Experts and health officials have said that ramping up vaccination efforts would be crucial to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.
As of Tuesday, the government has so far administered 15,616,562 COVID-19 vaccine doses, of which 10.58 million are first shots.
A total of 5.03 million people, meanwhile, are fully vaccinated against the virus, representing 8.67 percent of the minimum 58 million government target by yearend.