COVID-19 death toll rises to 38,493
MANILA (UPDATED) — The Philippines on Friday registered 15,566 more COVID-19 case, and nearly 200 deaths, as authorities this week saw a "decline" in infections amid a possible slump in testing.
Based on the health department's latest bulletin, the country now has 2,565,487 total recorded COVID-19 cases, of which 130,268 remained active.
The ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group said the number of those still battling the disease is the lowest in more than a month, or since Aug. 26, when the country had 129,744 active cases.
The number of active cases in previous days has been adjusted for duplicates.
The positivity rate is at 21.3 percent, based on test results of 63,850 individuals on Wednesday. This is a decline from previous weeks when over 1 in every 4 people tested had positive results.
ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido said the positivity rate is the lowest in nearly 2 months or since Aug. 9.
There were 199 more deaths, pushing the country's COVID-19 death toll to 38,493. This is the 3rd straight day that fresh fatalities reached more than 100, data showed.
A total of 102 recoveries turned out to be fatalities after the agency's final validation, the DOH said.
Recoveries, meanwhile, increased by 23,483 to 2,396,726. The number of new recoveries is expected to rise amid the high number of people who tested positive for the virus in the past few weeks.
Five laboratories failed to submit data on time.
A total of 45 duplicates, of which 33 are recoveries, have been excluded from the running tally, according to the agency.
HEALTH CARE UTILIZATION
The intensive care unit (ICU) beds occupancy rate nationwide (73 percent) and in Metro Manila (75 percent) are still high-risk, according to Guido.
According to the analyst, while the country is seeing relatively fewer fresh infections, the day's caseload remained high.
This is the 5th straight day that new cases were below the 20,000-mark, but testing remained low, according to the agency.
"'Yung ating palaging pinag-uusapan parang Araneta Coliseum pa rin 'yan na puno. Ang problema kasi, nasanay tayo sa 20,000 na sobrang taas talaga... Hindi pa talaga napapanahon na maging kampante tayo," Guido said in an interview over Teleradyo.
The Department of Health (DOH) since late last week has encountered issues in its data collating system COVIDKaya, which resulted in zero deaths for 3 straight days, from Sept. 24 to 26.
On Thursday, the agency said it is probing a slump in COVID-19 testing nationwide.
DOH said a 10-percent decline in tests was observed nationally, and 14 percent in the National Capital Region.
"The DOH is investigating possible reasons for the decline in testing output and is in constant coordination with local government units," the agency had said.
At least 21.3 million of the country's target 77 million people have been fully vaccinated so far, while 24.2 million have been partially vaccinated from the disease.