MANILA - The Philippines on Monday reported 6,943 new COVID-19 cases, the second straight day that the number of cases was below 7,000, data from the health department showed.
The last time the country recorded below 7,000 infections was on Aug. 3 when the Department of Health announced 6,879 cases, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.
Of the total 2,727,286 cases, 68,832 or 2.5 percent were active infections, according to the latest DOH bulletin.
COVID-related deaths increased by 86, resulting in a total of 40,761.
There were also 19,687 more recoveries, raising the total number of recuperations to 2,617,693.
The number of fresh recoveries is the highest in six days or since Oct. 12 when DOH announced 25,146, the ABS-CBN IRG said.
"Bagama't bumababa ang mga kaso ng COVID-19 na naiiuulat nitong mga nakaraang araw, hindi dapat tayo maging kampante. Bagkus, ipagpatuloy ang tamang pagsunod sa minimum public health standards at agad na magpabakuna," the DOH said.
(Although COVID-19 cases are decreasing these past few days, we should not be complacent. We must continue observing minimum public health standards and get vaccinated.)
The positivity rate was at 13.3 percent, based on samples of 54,150 individuals tested on Oct. 16, Saturday.
Two laboratories, which contribute on average 0.3 percent of samples tested and 0.2 percent of positive cases, were unable to submit their data, the DOH said.
The intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization rate in Metro Manila and the Philippines was at 59 percent and 62 percent, respectively.
Twenty-five duplicates were removed from the total case count, of which 16 were recoveries, the DOH said. Thirty cases previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation, it added.
Metro Manila on Saturday eased to Alert Level 3, allowing more businesses to reopen at a limited capacity.
All areas in the country have "peaked and are at downward trend while all island groups showed peaks" last month, said DOH Undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.
Zamboanga Peninsula is the lone region currently classified as high risk for COVID-19 cases, she added.
More than 24.3 million people in the country have been fully vaccinated against the respiratory illness, while nearly 28 million others have received their first dose, according to government data.
The Philippines aims to fully vaccinate more than 77 million people to achieve population protection against COVID-19 following the emergence of more transmissible variants.