MANILA (UPDATE)— The Philippines on Saturday recorded 19,441 new COVID-19 infections, a new all-time high single-day tally since the pandemic started, with deaths breaching the 33,000-mark.
The Department of Health's (DOH) latest bulletin showed that the country now has a total 1,935,700 confirmed novel coronavirus infections as the Delta variant spurred a fresh surge.
Active cases, meanwhile, reached 142,679, accounting for 7.4 percent of the running tally.
The number of those still battling the disease is the highest since April 17, ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido said.
The day's newly confirmed cases smashed Monday's record, when the Department of Health (DOH) tallied 18,332 infections.
The health department said COVID-19 cases in the country would continue to rise amid the presence of the highly transmissible Delta variant, as many hospitals nationwide neared breaking point due to the stream of virus patients.
The positivity rate increased to 27.5 percent, based on the samples received from 71,620 individuals on Thursday. This means that over 1 in 4 people tested turns out positive for the virus.
Guido noted that the positivity rate is the highest ever recorded since data became available.
According to the DOH, 167 more people died due to the disease, pushing the country's death toll to 33,008.
The day's deaths include 76 cases first tagged as recoveries, according to the DOH.
Guido added that the most recent 1,000 new deaths were only recorded in the last 4 days, the fastest so far.
Recoveries, meanwhile, increased by 19,191 to 1,760,013.
Three laboratories failed to submit data on time.
A total of 202 duplicates have been excluded from the running tally, of which 191 are recoveries.
HEALTH CARE UTILIZATION
The intensive care unit (ICU) beds occupation rate in Metro Manila is at 73 percent.
Nationwide, 74 percent of ICU beds are currently being used.
These rates are considered high risk, according to the DOH's website.
Earlier in the day, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the COVID-19 bed capacity in nearly half of Metro Manila's hospitals are on high risk as infections continued to rise amid the presence of the highly infectious Delta variant.
Vergeire emphasized that only 6 cities in Metro Manila have at least a 60-percent ICU bed utilization rate in their hospitals. Hospitals in the rest of the region, meanwhile, are at over 70-percent capacity.
Last week, the DOH said community transmission of the Delta variant might already be happening in the country.
The variant had crippled the health care system of its origin India at its peak in April and is blamed for record infections in other Southeast Asian countries.
The capital region and other areas in the country will remain under the modified enhanced community quarantine — the second strictest lockdown level — to stem the spread of virus infections.
At least 13.3 million Filipinos are fully immunized from the virus, government data showed.
The country’s first COVID-19 case was a 38-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan, China.
The first COVID-19 death outside of China, was also recorded in the Philippines last year.