SECOND HIGHEST DAILY RISE: PH confirms 16,694 new COVID-19 cases, 398 new deaths

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 21 2021 04:10 PM | Updated as of Aug 21 2021 10:19 PM

Residents enter the venue for the distribution of the government’s cash aid in Barangay 48, Tondo, Manila on August 17, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Residents enter the venue for the distribution of the government’s cash aid in Barangay 48, Tondo, Manila on August 17, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE)— The Philippines on Saturday recorded 16,694 new COVID-19 cases, the second highest daily tally since the pandemic began, with deaths counting nearly 400, the health department said.

The country's total recorded COVID-19 cases reached 1,824,051, with 123,935 active infections as the Department of Health said community transmission of the highly contagious COVID-19 variant may already be happening. 

This also developed a day after the Philippines recorded an all-time high 17,231 new COVID-19 cases.

The number of those still battling the disease is the highest since April 20, the ABS-CBN data team noted. 

The positivity rate is at 25.2 percent, which means 1 in 4 people tested for the virus were found positive for COVID-19. According to ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido, this is the 2nd highest positivity rate since data became available. 

COVID-related deaths, meanwhile, rose to 31,596 with 398 new fatalities. 

Saturday's newly announced deaths included 211 cases first classified as recoveries. 

Guido added that the day's deaths is also the second highest reported in the country in a single day. 

Recoveries also increased by 15,805 to 1,668,520. The total number of recuperations accounts for 91.5 percent of the country's running tally. 

Four laboratories failed to submit data on time. 

ICU BEDS, DEATHS

Based on the latest bulletin, the country has a 73 percent intensive care unit (ICU) beds utilization rate, which is considered high risk. 

In Metro Manila, 74 percent of ICU beds are currently occupied. 

Meanwhile, Guido said that the country recorded an average of 218 daily deaths in the last 7 days — the 2nd highest 7-day average when the COVID-19 pandemic reached the country. 

Earlier in the day, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Philippines might continue seeing a spike in new COVID-19 cases, with a possibility of active cases in Metro Manila to reach over 269,000 until the end of September. 

Downgrading lockdown restrictions to the MECQ was also not counterintuitive for government's part, since the classification focuses on addressing cases on a granular level.