MANILA (UPDATE)— The Philippines on Friday reported 10,623 new COVID-19 infections, the highest in nearly 4 months, just as the health department confirmed that the more contagious COVID-19 Delta variant has already been detected in all areas of the capital region.
The day's fresh cases is the highest since April 17, data collated by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group (IRG) showed.
ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido and the IRG noted that the last time the Philippines breached the 10,000-mark was over 3 months ago or last April 17, when the country logged 10,098 cases.
Of the 1,638,345 total recorded cases, 74,297 are still active, according to the health department.
The ABS-CBN research team said the day's active cases is the highest in over 3 months, or since April 25, when 74,865 active cases were registered, based on DOH's records.
The number of active cases in previous days has been adjusted for duplicates.
The last time the country's active cases reached over 70,000 was last May 1, data from the research unit showed.
The positivity rate is at 18.4 percent, the highest since April 19, Guido said. This is based on samples of 58,375 individuals who underwent screening for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
DEATHS HIGHEST IN ALMOST 4 MOS; RECOVERIES STILL LOW
The virus, which first emerged in Wuhan, China in late 2019, claimed 247 more lives. The country's death toll stood at 28,673.
Friday's newly-confirmed fatalities is considered the highest since April 9, when the DOH announced 409 deaths, the ABS-CBN IRG pointed out.
The research team added that this is the 7th time in almost 4 months that daily fatalities breached 200.
Majority or 150 of the day's deaths, however, were first announced as recoveries, according to the agency.
Recoveries, meanwhile, rose by 3,127 to 1,535,375, accounting for 93.7 percent of the running tally.
The number of fresh recuperations is the lowest in a week.
According to the ABS-CBN IRG, the number of recoveries "has been on a downward trend" in the past 3 days.
ICU RATE IN NCR, PH SOARS
The intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rate in the National Capital Region is at 61 percent, up from the 58 percent posted on Thursday.
The ICU bed occupation rate nationwide is higher at 62 percent, up by 2 percent the previous day, per DOH data.
Five laboratories failed to submit data on time while 1 was not operational.
Metro Manila on Friday returned to a strictest lockdown level to stop the growth of infections due to the Delta variant, which experts say is at least 60 percent more virulent than the original virus strain.
The DOH, meanwhile, classified 8 areas in the region under Alert Level 4, the highest alert level, which means that dedicated COVID-19 hospital beds are more than 70 percent occupied.