Philippines records 16,989 new COVID-19 cases, lowest in nearly 2 weeks

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 15 2021 04:23 PM | Updated as of Sep 15 2021 08:38 PM

'Relatively low cases' is due to lower lab output last Monday - DOH

People queue to get their COVID-19 vaccine at the Greenhills Theater mall in San Juan City on Sept. 14, 2021.
People queue to get their COVID-19 vaccine at the Greenhills Theater mall in San Juan City on Sept. 14, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines on Wednesday recorded 16,989 more COVID-19 cases, the fewest in almost 2 weeks, while its active infections topped 170,000, data from the health department showed.

The day's number of fresh infections is considered the lowest since Sept. 2, when the Department of Health announced 16,621 cases, the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group noted. 

It is the 19th highest daily tally ever recorded though, according to the research unit. 

The DOH said the relatively fewer COVID-19 cases can be attributed to the "lower laboratory output" on Monday. 

Four laboratories failed to submit data on time, the agency added.

The country now has 2,283,011 total reported coronavirus infections, including 170,446 active cases -- the 12th highest since the pandemic started, with the duplicates already considered, the ABS-CBN IRG said.

The number of active cases counted more than 100,000 each day in the past month, according to ABS-CBN researchers. 

There were also 214 new fatalities, raising the total number of deaths to 35,742. 

This is the second straight day that new deaths were more than 200. 

Majority or 135 of the day's fatalities were first classified as recoveries, according to the DOH. 

Meanwhile, 24,123 additional recoveries were recorded. This raised the country's total recoveries to 2,076,823 or 91 percent of the running tally. 

Positivity rate is at 25.9 percent. This was based on test results of 57,034 individuals on Monday. The positivity rate peaked at 29.7 percent on Tuesday. 

The day's positivity rate is the lowest since Aug. 29, according to ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido. 

A total of 44 duplicates have been excluded from the running tally. The DOH noted that 32 of the duplicates are recoveries, and one is a fatality.

Based on the health department's latest bulletin, the intensive care unit (ICU) bed occupancy rate in Metro Manila is 79 percent, while it is 77. percent nationwide. This is considered high risk.

The ward beds utilization rate nationwide and in the capital region, meanwhile, is at 73 percent.

The capital region's nearly 13.5 million people from Thursday will test a new pandemic alert system with granular lockdowns, which government hopes will better contain COVID-19 cases and spur business activity. 

Fourteen-day granular lockdowns will cover houses, buildings, streets or subdivisions, officials earlier said. 

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