MANILA (UPDATE)— The Philippines on Friday recorded 6,845 additional COVID-19 cases and no new deaths, just as the health department confirmed local transmission of the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant in the country.
The Department of Health’s (DOH) 4 p.m. bulletin showed that the country now has a total of 1,537,097 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
The ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group said the day’s cases were the highest announced in nearly a month or since June 26, when the DOH registered 6,871 cases.
Active cases reached 55,069, accounting for 3.6 percent of the running tally.
ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido said the total of those still battling the disease on Friday were the highest in 3 weeks or since July 2.
Meanwhile, the positivity rate on Wednesday is at 12.3 percent — the highest in over a month — based on the testing results of 43,668 individuals who got screened for the disease on the said date.
There were also no new fatalities due to technical “issues” with the agency’s data collating system COVIDKaya. The country’s death toll stood at 26,891.
For the 3rd straight day, the DOH said it resorted to manual transmission of COVID-19 data due to their system glitches.
The agency pointed out that the data submitted could not have “up-to-date data entries in certain fields such as health status, residence, quarantine status.”
The problem is still being investigated with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), they said, noting that “a resolution is expected in the next few days.”
Recoveries rose by 2,330 to 1,455,137 or 94.7 percent of the cumulative total, according to the DOH.
The number of fresh recuperations is the lowest in 3 weeks or since July 2, when the agency logged 2,212 recoveries, the ABS-CBN research unit noted.
A total of 11 cases, 6 of which are recoveries, have been removed from the cumulative total.
Three cases have tested negative from the virus and were also removed from the running tally, according to the DOH.
Two laboratories failed to submit data on time.
The intensive care unit (ICU) bed capacity in Metro Manila stood at 42 percent, but this rate is higher nationwide at 52 percent, the latest data showed.
DELTA VARIANT THREAT
Earlier in the day, the agency said NCR Plus and the Visayas have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases, attributing it to the local presence of virus variants.
The NCR Plus groups Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire pointed out that the capital region alone logged 797 infections from July 16 to 22, an increase of 179 cases.
The DOH has also confirmed local transmission of the Delta variant in the country. The variant originated from India and caused a catastrophic spread of the virus there.
So far, there are 47 known cases of the Delta variant recorded in the Philippines. The tally includes 36 recoveries, 3 fatalities and 8 active cases.
Because of the development, the capital region, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Davao De Oro, and Davao Del Norte were placed under general community quarantine “with heightened restrictions.”
Philippine authorities also included Malaysia and Thailand in its travel ban starting this weekend until the end of the month.
The country also previously suspended the entry of travelers from 8 countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Indonesia— which have all detected the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant.
— With a report from Jamaine Punzalan and Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News