MANILA (UPDATE) — The Philippines' caseload of confirmed coronavirus infections climbed Thursday by 2,415 to 314,079, making the country the 20th among those with the most number of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic started, according to the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) coronavirus dashboard.
The Philippines, which logged its first confirmed COVID-19 case last Jan. 30, surpassed Pakistan’s 312,806 cases. The United States, India and Brazil occupy the top three spots.
ABS-CBN Data Analytics Head Edson Guido said the Philippines might hold the Top 20 rank for a while since Pakistan’s new cases range around 500 to 700 a day.
Guido said the Philippines’ 2,500 cases on average a day is better than in previous weeks, although it is still high.
Of Thursday's additional cases in the country, majority or 83% occurred in the last 2 weeks.
Topping the list of areas with the most number of newly-announced cases are the National Capital Region (NCR) with 930, Cavite with 238, Rizal with 128, Laguna with 123, and Negros Occidental with 103.
The Department of Health (DOH) also reported 771 additional recovered patients, or a total of 254,223 recoveries.
There were also 59 additional COVID-related deaths, most of which occurred in September, raising the total to 5,562.
Meanwhile, active cases are 54,294.
A total of 30 duplicate cases, including 16 recoveries and 1 fatality, were removed from the official tally.
The DOH also reclassified 17 recoveries into deaths after “final validation.”
Seven laboratories reportedly failed to submit their data on time, but unlike previous weeks, the DOH did not release the names.
Starting Sept. 22, the daily tally of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines seemed to be slightly lower than previous weeks. But the DOH has repeatedly said it continues to monitor an increase in infections and COVID-19 clusters in parts of the country.
The DOH said such provinces as Negros Occidental, which initially had cases due to locally-stranded individuals, now have community transmission. Batanes, which used to be the only COVID-free province in the country, now has 2 cases.
The University of the Philippines OCTA Group estimates total cases in the country to reach 380,000 to 410,000 by the end of October.
Since the start of the pandemic, almost 34 million people have been infected by the COVID-19 virus, according to the JHU dashboard. Of those, 1 million have died and more than 23.6 million have recovered.
The United States has recorded 7.2 million cases, while India has 6.3 million, and Brazil, 4.8 million. Completing the top 5 in terms of COVID-19 caseload are Russia, with 1.17 million, and, Colombia, with almost 830,000.