MANILA (UPDATE) - The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday announced 4,393 new COVID-19 cases, citing lower laboratory output last Sunday, as the death toll breached the 42,000-mark.
This is the second time in as many days that the daily tally of new infections counted fewer than 5,000. An independent research group that assesses the data of the DOH has attributed the decline in new cases to the country's wide vaccination coverage.
Of the total 2,765,672 cases, 53,642 or 1.9 percent were active infections, according to the latest DOH bulletin.
Total COVID deaths increased by 135 to 42,077. This is the lowest in three days, or since Oct. 24 when the DOH announced 208 fatalities, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative Research Group.
The country's first death due to the disease, also the first outside China where the coronavirus is believed to have first emerged, was recorded on Feb. 1 last year.
A total of 8,470 more recoveries in the country were reported, raising the total number of recuperations to 2,669,953. This is the highest in three days, or since Oct. 23, when DOH logged 9,578 recoveries, the ABS-CBN IRG said.
Tuesday is also the 8th straight day that the DOH has been logging less than 10,000 daily recoveries, it added.
The positivity rate was at 8.5 percent, based on test results of samples of 35,265 individuals on Oct. 24, Sunday. It is the lowest in over seven months, or since March 5, said ABS-CBN Data Analytics Head Edson Guido.
Five laboratories, which contribute on average 0.2 percent of samples tested and 0.3 percent of positive cases, were unable to submit their data, the DOH said.
Twenty-eight duplicates were removed from the total case count, of which 22 were recoveries, while 97 cases previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation, according to the agency.
The intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization rate in Metro Manila and across the country was at 47 percent and 53 percent, respectively.
The country is now classified as "low-risk" for COVID-19 following a decline in new infections over the past two weeks, the DOH said Monday. Its first case was confirmed on Jan. 30 last year in a Chinese woman who arrived from Wuhan, China.
The government has already approved a list of recommended vaccines for COVID-19 booster shots and additional doses for priority sectors.
Some 25.9 million individuals have been fully vaccinated against the disease, while 30.6 million others have received their first dose as of Monday, according to the National Task Force Against COVID-19.
The Philippines aims to inoculate at least 77 million to achieve herd immunity against the respiratory illness.