MANILA (UPDATE)—The Philippines on Saturday recorded 20,741 new COVID-19 cases, the second highest daily jump since the pandemic started, with deaths breaching 34,000, the health department said.
Based on the Department of Health's (DOH) latest bulletin, the country now has 2,061,084 total recorded novel coronavirus cases, 157,646 of which are still active.
This is also the second straight day that new cases counted more than 20,000 — the first time this has happened since the country recorded its first COVID-19 case last year, ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido said.
The Philippines is battling a new surge of infections amid the community transmission of the more virulent Delta variant, which first emerged in India.
The positivity rate is at 28 percent, based on the samples from 74,034 individuals on Thursday. This means more than 1 in 4 people tested were found carriers of the virus.
Guido noted that the day's positivity rate is the highest since data from the DOH became available.
COVID-related deaths rose by 189, pushing the total fatalities to 34,062.
This is the 3rd straight day that fresh fatalities were more than 100, data showed.
Saturday's new deaths included 81 cases first classified as recoveries, according to the agency.
Recoveries, meanwhile, increased by 21,962 to 1,869,376.
Five laboratories failed to submit data on time, while 225 duplicates were removed from the total case count. Of them, 206 were recoveries.
The DOH noted that Metro Manila's intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rate increased to 73 percent from 70 percent, while 74 percent of ICU beds nationwide were occupied.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said government was "reconciling" supposed inaccuracies in hospital capacity rates, after concerns by some hospitals.
"We are trying to monitor the situation. There is a kind of disconnect, kasi ang ospital nagsa-submit sila ng [names of] positive individuals. Yun pong mga suspects and probable na nailalagak at hindi po nabibilang nang husto, so we are trying to coordinate with hospitals with the suspect and probable cases," Vergeire said in a public press briefing earlier this morning.
(We are trying to monitor the situation. There is a kind of disconnect, because the hospitals only submit the names of COVID-19 positive individuals. Suspected and probable cases are not so much accounted for, so we are trying to coordinate with the hospitals with the suspect and probable cases.)
The agency earlier said COVID-19 cases were bound to rise in the coming days.