MANILA (UPDATE)— The Philippines reported 7,835 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday following government's announcement to downgrade Metro Manila's quarantine status to Alert Level 3.
This is the second time in as many days the Department of Health announced below 8,000 new infections.
Of the total 2,698,232 cases, 84,850 or 3.1 percent are active infections, according to the latest DOH bulletin.
COVID-related deaths increased by 154, resulting in a total of 40,221. This is the lowest daily tally in three days or since Monday, when the DOH announced 36 deaths, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.
There were 5,317 more recoveries, raising the total number of recuperations to 2,573,161. The figure is the lowest daily tally in three days when the DOH announced 302 recoveries, the ABS-CBN IRG added.
The positivity rate was at 14 percent, based on samples of 51,538 individuals on Oct. 12. This is the lowest since July 25, according to ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido.
Four laboratories, which contribute on average 1.3 percent of samples tested and 1.2 percent of positive cases, were unable to submit their data, according to the DOH.
Fifty-eight duplicates were removed from the total case count, of which 42 were recoveries and 2 were deaths, the DOH said.
Some 89 cases previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation, it added.
The intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization rate in Metro Manila and the Philippines was at 61 percent and 65 percent, respectively.
Government on Wednesday approved the recommendation to place the capital region under Alert Level 3 from Oct. 16 to 31, down from Alert Level 4 first imposed on Sep. 16.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III attributed the easing of restrictions to Metro Manila's "low risk" health care utilization rate and "moderate risk" ICU occupancy.
Under Alert Level 3, cinemas and venues for social events such as wedding receptions and conferences are allowed to operate on limited capacity.