MANILA (UPDATE)— The Philippines on Friday reported 17,447 new COVID-19 cases, the second highest daily tally since the pandemic started, data from the health department showed.
The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed the country's highest daily increase — 18,332 new cases — on Monday, with the highly infectious Delta variant believed to be behind the fresh surge.
Of the country's 1,916,461 cumulative total coronavirus cases, 142,531 or 7.4 percent are still battling the disease, the DOH said.
According to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group (IRG), this is the 12th straight day that active infections counted more than 100,000.
ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido, meanwhile, said the number of active cases is the highest in over 4 months or since April 17.
He said the country reported 100,000 new COVID-19 cases in the past week alone, considered the fastest ever climb.
The positivity rate is at 26.1 percent based on test results of 70,396 individuals who got screened for the virus on Wednesday. This means 1 in every 4 people tested turn out positive.
Guido noted that the positivity rate is the highest since data became available from the agency.
There were also 113 new deaths and 6,771 more recoveries.
This is the 10th straight day that additional deaths were over 100, according to the ABS-CBN IRG. It is also the fewest in more than a week or since Aug. 17, when the agency confirmed 96 deaths.
This increased the total fatalities to 32,841, while total recuperations are now at 1,741,089.
A total of 47 cases first tagged as recoveries turned out as fatalities, DOH said.
On the other hand, 186 duplicates have been removed from the running tally, all of which were recoveries.
One laboratory failed to submit data on time.
The intensive care unit (ICU) bed occupation rate in Metro Manila and across the country are both at 75 percent, the DOH bulletin showed.
The Philippines is battling a new wave of COVID-19 infections, which experts blame on the more transmissible Delta variant. The said variant has been detected in all of the country's regions except in the Bangsamoro, the DOH earlier said.
Over the weekend, the DOH also said it has assumed that community transmission of the more contagious COVID-19 Delta variant is already happening in the country.
As of Friday, about 38 in every 100 infections last reported around the world were reported from countries in Asia and the Middle East, according to data collated by Reuters.
Reuters said Iran, India, Japan, Malaysia, and Turkey are reporting the most new infections each day in Asia and the Middle East as of Friday, while Indonesia, Iran, India, Vietnam, and the Philippines are reporting the most deaths in the region each day.
At least 13.3 million people are already fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the Philippines, according to government data. This is still far from the goal of fully vaccinating 70 million by yearend to achieve herd immunity.
— with a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News