MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - The Philippines on Tuesday announced 8,615 new COVID-19 cases, the second time in as many days that it recorded below 9,000 infections, data from the health department showed.
The country now has 2,683,372 total confirmed coronavirus infections, of which 82,228 or 3.1 percent are active, the Department of Health (DOH) said in its latest bulletin.
The number of active cases is the lowest in two months or since August 11, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.
The DOH reported 236 more deaths, the highest in 3 days, raising the total to 39,896, and 25,146 additional recoveries, resulting in 2,561,248 cumulative recuperations.
The number of new recoveries is the 11th highest daily tally since the pandemic began, following 27,024 recuperations that the Philippines recorded on Sept. 18, the ABS-CBN IRG said.
Fifty seven duplicates were removed from the total case count, of which 38 were recoveries, according to the health department. It also said that 120 cases previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation.
The positivity rate was at 15.5 percent, based on samples of 34,175 individuals screened on Sunday, Oct. 10. This is the lowest figure since July 31, according to ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido.
Guido added that the number of individuals tested on October 10 is the lowest in over 6 months or since April 4.
"The relatively low cases today is due to lower laboratory output last Sunday, October 10," the DOH said.
But Guido pointed out that "the number of samples tested daily is on a decline."
Three laboratories, which contribute on average 0.4 percent of samples tested and 0.4 percent of positive cases, were unable to submit their data, it added.
The occupancy rate of intensive care units (ICU) in Metro Manila and the whole country was at 66 percent and 68 percent, respectively.
Government might relax restrictions by Christmas should virus cases continue to drop, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said after confirming that the decline in infections was "not artificial."
Following the inoculation of priority sectors, the vaccination of the general adult population has also begun and children aged 12 to 17 with comorbidities are set to receive the jab starting Friday.