MANILA (UPDATE)— The Philippines on Friday tallied 20,310 more COVID-19 cases, the second highest daily tally since the pandemic began, as the country battled its worst virus outbreak yet amid community transmission of the more virulent Delta variant.
Friday's fresh cases, the highest in 4 days according to the ABS-CBN research team, followed Monday's all-time high of 22,366 infections.
It is also only the second time that the daily case tally breached 20,000, data showed.
Based on the Department of Health's (DOH) latest bulletin, total recorded novel coronavirus infections in the country stood at 2,040,568, while active cases reached 158,994 or 7.8 percent of the running tally.
The number of those still battling the disease is the highest since April 14, when the country registered 163,253 active infections, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group. The data has been adjusted for duplicates.
"The top 9 highest tally of active cases were all in April, which makes the active cases today the highest in nearly 5 months," the research unit said.
Positivity rate based on 67,759 samples screened on Wednesday is at 27.4 percent. This means more than 1 in 4 people tested are positive for the virus.
The DOH also confirmed 193 more fatalities, raising the country's death toll to 33,873.
The day's fatalities included 84 cases first classified as recoveries after the DOH revalidation.
Meanwhile, 7,710 patients recuperated recently from the disease, bringing the total recoveries to 1,847,701, which made up 90.5 percent of the running tally.
A total of 226 duplicates, 219 of which were recoveries, have been excluded from the cumulative total, the agency said.
Six laboratories failed to submit data on time.
HEALTH CARE CAPACITY
Metro Manila's intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rate is at 70 percent, while 72 percent of ICU beds nationwide are currently occupied, the DOH noted.
Earlier in the day, COVID-19 referral center One Hospital Command appealed for the public's patience amid delays in calls for assistance due to rising demand.
One Hospital Command Center medical officer Dr. Marylaine Padlan said the referral system received about 400 to 500 calls per day last month, up from 100 to 200 daily calls in July.
Last week, big hospitals in the region such as the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and St. Luke's Medical Center announced suspending the acceptance of new patients in their emergency rooms due to the stream of fresh admissions.
Other hospitals in nearby provinces such as Cavite and Laguna have also reported full wards.
As of Wednesday, the government has fully immunized 14.1 million people from the respiratory disease.
At least 20 million individuals, meanwhile, have received their first dose.