MANILA - The Philippines on Thursday announced 1,766 new COVID-19 cases, falling for the second straight day below the 2,000-mark, data from the health department showed.
Of the 2,795,642 cumulative cases, 37,159 or 1.3 percent were active infections, according to the latest Department of Health (DOH) bulletin.
This is the lowest number of active cases since March 8, when 37,320 active infections were reported, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.
COVID-related deaths increased by 239 to 43,825.
There were also 2,591 more recoveries, raising the total number of recuperations to 2,714,658.
The number of new deaths is the highest in five days, while the number of additional recoveries is the lowest in two weeks, or since Oct. 20 when the DOH reported 228 new recuperations, the ABS-CBN IRG said.
Twenty-two duplicates were removed from the total case count, including 17 recoveries, while 214 cases previously tagged as recuperations were reclassified as deaths after final validation, the DOH said.
The positivity rate was at 6.6 percent, based on test results of samples from 34,190 individuals on Nov. 2, Tuesday. The World Health Organization (WHO) benchmark is 5 percent or lower for at least two weeks. A relatively high positivity rate means more people should be tested.
Two laboratories, which contribute on average 0.1 percent of samples tested and 0.1 percent of positive cases, were unable to submit their data, the DOH said.
The intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization rates in Metro Manila and across the country were at 37 percent and 43 percent, respectively.
Majority of the country has reversed its Delta variant-caused surge in cases, according to OCTA Research. This can be attributed to wide vaccine coverage, lockdown, and the public's adherence to minimum health standards, the group's Prof. Guido David said.
The DOH last month announced that the Philippines was classified as "low risk" for COVID-19 following the decline in fresh infections among other factors.
Government is eyeing to begin the administration of third doses and booster shots by mid-November, and a 3-day nationwide vaccination drive to inoculate 5 million individuals, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said.
The country on Wednesday began the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines to all children aged 12 to 17.