MANILA - The Philippines on Monday reported 18,937 new coronavirus infections, raising the country's total to 2,385,616, the Department of Health (DOH) said, amid the detection of more Delta variant cases.
The number of additional cases is the lowest in five days, or since Sept. 15 when the DOH announced 16,989, the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group said.
Of the cumulative total, 176,850 or 7.4 percent are active cases, the lowest in five days, according to the ABS-CBN IRG. On Sept. 16, there were 177,991 active cases, based on DOH data that has been adjusted for duplicate cases.
There were 146 additional fatalities and 20,171 new recoveries, said the DOH, pushing the country's death toll to 36,934 and total recuperations to 2,171,832.
Positivity rate is 26.3 percent, based on test results of samples from 72,770 individuals last Saturday.
The DOH said earlier in the day that the virulent Delta variant is now the most common in the country, with 319 more of such cases detected.
Delta, which drove India's infection and death toll to record high, is now the country's "most common lineage among sequenced samples as of the latest full genome sequencing run," said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
Of the 12,530 sequenced samples with lineages, the country has detected 3,027 or 24.16 percent of Delta cases. The tally includes 2,734 or 21.82 percent of Beta cases (South Africa) and 2,461 or 19.64 percent of Alpha cases (United Kingdom).
Monday is the fifth day since the government started its pilot implementation in Metro Manila of a five-level alert system in lieu of the 4-level community quarantine classification amid a new surge in cases, to both arrest the spread of COVID-19 and help spur the pandemic-battered economy.
The full effect of the new alert level scheme will be seen in 2 to 3 weeks, the DOH said as it maintains it cannot yet claim that the Philippines has reached the peak of its COVID-19 cases.
The DOH said in its latest bulletin that 79 percent of ICU beds for COVID-19 in Metro Manila are occupied, while it is at 77 percent nationwide.
Ward beds utilization rate, meanwhile, is 72 percent in the capital region and 71 percent across the country.
The Philippines logged its first COVID-19 case on Jan. 30 last year in a Chinese woman who arrived from Wuhan City, China where the disease is believed to have first emerged.
Since the rollout of its inoculation program last March 1, more than 18.5 million people in the country are already fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 22.8 million have received their first shot. The government aims to fully vaccinate more than 77 million individuals to achieve herd immunity against the respiratory disease.