MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines recorded 22,415 COVID-19 cases - the highest ever - over the last 24 hours, as the capital region prepares to shift to a more relaxed quarantine level even as the highest coronavirus alert status was hoisted over nearly the entire metropolis, the government said Monday.
The country has been logging more than 20,000 new cases for the fourth straight day, bringing the cumulative total to 2,103,331, data from the Department of Health showed.
Monday's reported additional cases surpassed the country's previous highest at 22,366, logged last August 30.
Of the total confirmed infections, 159,633 are active, which is the 10th highest since the pandemic began, according to data from the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.
People who have died from the disease climbed to 34,337 after the DOH recorded 103 new fatalities. New deaths crossed the 100-mark for the 5th straight day, ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido said.
Total recoveries are up by 20,109 to 1,909,361.
Eight testing laboratories were not able to send in their results, the health department said.
The DOH noted that Metro Manila's intensive care unit (ICU) beds utilization rate reduced to 73 percent from 75 percent this Sunday. But occupied ICU beds nationwide increased to 76 percent - the highest ever since the data was made available.
COVID-19 positivity rate in the country increased to 28.8 percent - which according to Guido is the highest since testing data became available.
Sixty-eight duplicates were removed from the total case count, the DOH said. Of the duplicates, 53 were recoveries.
Seven cases were reclassified as deaths after they were previously tagged as recoveries.
Metro Manila, which registered the highest average daily coronavirus cases the past two weeks, is shifting to the second loosest lockdown, or general community quarantine (GCQ) beginning Wednesday.
The capital region's mayors have reached a consensus on the pilot implementation of granular lockdowns in COVID-struck localities, which later got the nod from the country's pandemic task force.
This comes amid warnings that the number of cases may still increase until the end of the month, and with major hospitals remaining in critical capacity.
The DOH on Monday morning said all Metro Manila cities are under "Alert Level 4" COVID-19 classification, except Manila, which is under "Alert Level 3." It also noted that the entire country remains high risk for COVID-19 infections.