MANILA—The Philippines on Saturday tallied 23,134 more COVID-19 cases, the 2nd highest since the pandemic began, with deaths counting more than 200 for a 5th day in a row, data from the health department showed.
Only the 26,303 cases of fresh infections counted on September 11 was higher, ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido noted.
This was also the 3rd straight day that new cases were more than 20,000.
The Philippines now has 2,347,550 total recorded cases, of which 184,088 remained active infections, the latest Department of Health (DOH) bulletin indicated.
The positivity rate was at 26 percent, based on samples of 73,635 individuals on Thursday.
There were also 255 more individuals who died from COVID-19, raising the total number of fatalities to 36,583.
A total of 143 cases first classified as recoveries turned out to be fatalities, according to the DOH.
New fatalities also numbered more than 200 for the 5th straight day. According to ABS-CBN's Guido, this happened for the first time since the pandemic started.
Recoveries rose by 27,024 to 2,126,879 or 90.6 percent of the running tally.
Two laboratories failed to submit data on time.
The intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization rate in Metro Manila and the Philippines was at 77 percent each.
The Philippines has struggled to cope with the new wave of COVID-19 infections likely driven by the community transmission of the more transmissible Delta variant, which has seen hospitals filled to capacity.
Earlier in the day, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said COVID-19 cases in the Philippines would continue to rise.
Vergeire said 94 areas are under Alert Level 4, 18 areas are under Alert Level 3, 9 areas are currently placed under Alert Level 2, while no area in the country is under Alert Level 1.
Under the highest alert level, hospital beds dedicated for COVID-19 patients in a certain area are more than 70 percent occupied. This is distinct from the new alert level system for quarantine restrictions.