MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines on Tuesday reported 4,496 new COVID-19 cases, the first time in nearly three months it dropped below 5,000, as the Department of Health cited lower laboratory output.
Of the total 2,731,735 confirmed cases, 63,637 or 2.3 percent are active infections, according to the latest DOH bulletin.
"The relatively low cases today is due to lower laboratory output last Sunday, October 17," the DOH said.
The number of fresh infections is the lowest since July 28, when the country recorded 4,478, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.
Meantime, the number of active cases is the lowest since Aug. 5, when the DOH logged 60,211 active cases, the ABS-CBN IRG said. The number of active cases in previous days has been adjusted for duplicate cases, it added.
The DOH also announced 211 more deaths, resulting in 40,972 cumulative fatalities, and 9,609 more recoveries, raising the total to 2,627,126.
It is the highest number of deaths in the past week and the lowest number of recuperations in 3 days or since Oct. 16 when DOH announced 1,634 recoveries, according to the ABS-CBN IRG.
The positivity rate was at 12.4 percent, based on samples of 35,766 individuals on Sunday. It is the lowest since July 25 this year, said ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido.
Seven laboratories, which contribute on average 2.8 percent of samples tested and 2 percent of positive cases, were unable to submit their data, according to the DOH.
Forty-seven duplicates were removed from the total case count, of which 31 were recoveries, the DOH said. Also, 145 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 in the entire country stood at 54 percent and 60 percent, respectively.
The DOH earlier said all areas in the country have "peaked and are at downward trend" following a recent surge in cases. Metro Manila on Saturday eased to Alert Level 3, allowing more businesses to reopen at a limited capacity.
The government is "preparing" in the event that the emergency use authorization of pharmaceutical firms is amended to allow a third dose, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said. Vaccine makers must apply for their vaccine's EUA to be amended, she said.
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.