Philippines logs 1,190 new COVID-19 cases, notes delay in reporting of deaths

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 17 2021 04:08 PM | Updated as of Nov 17 2021 06:07 PM

Shoppers go around the Divisoria market in Manila on Sunday, November 14, 2021. The National Capital Region may go on COVID-19 Alert Level 1 by Dec. 1, according to the Inter-Agency task Force on COVID-19, although it warned of another surge if people fail to strictly observe minimum health protocols. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Shoppers go around the Divisoria market in Manila on Sunday, November 14, 2021. The National Capital Region may go on COVID-19 Alert Level 1 by Dec. 1, according to the Inter-Agency task Force on COVID-19, although it warned of another surge if people fail to strictly observe minimum health protocols. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - The Department of Health on Wednesday announced 1,190 new COVID-19 cases, the seventh straight day that the daily tally remained below 2,000, and noted a delay in the reporting of virus-related deaths.

It reported 309 additional fatalities due to the respiratory illness but only 18 of those occurred this month. The death toll climbed to 46,117.

The number of new deaths is the highest since Oct. 31 when the DOH announced 423 deaths. This is aside from the 309 reported fatalities on Nov. 14, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.

The delay in the reporting of new deaths was due to "late encoding of death information to COVIDKaya," according to the DOH.

"This issue is currently being coordinated with the Epidemiology and Surveillance Units to ensure information is up to date," it added.

Of the country's 2,820,494 total recorded cases, 23,846 or 0.8 percent were active infections, according to the latest DOH bulletin. 

Thirty-seven duplicates were removed from the total case count, including 33 recoveries, while 264 cases previously tagged as recuperations were reclassified as deaths after final validation, the agency said.

The number of active cases is the lowest in 10 months, or since Jan. 17 when 22,763 active infections were announced, the ABS-CBN IRG said, citing DOH data adjusted for duplicate and reclassified cases.

The DOH also reported 2,759 more recoveries, raising the total number of recuperations to 2,750,531. This is the highest in 3 days, or since Nov. 14 when 3,140 additional recoveries were recorded.

The country's COVID-19 positivity rate was at 3.5 percent, based on test results of samples from 33,567 individuals on Nov. 15, Monday. 

The World Health Organization's benchmark for positivity rate is 5 percent or lower for at least two weeks. A relatively high rate means more people should be tested for the coronavirus.

A laboratory, which contributes on average 0.1 percent of samples tested and 0.1 percent of positive cases, was unable to submit data, the DOH said.

The intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization rate in Metro Manila and nationwide was at 33 percent each.

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The Philippines on Wednesday rolled out booster shots for health workers, the first sector to receive the jab in March. Some 2.6 million medical frontliners and members of their household have been fully vaccinated as of Monday, according to DOH data.

The government eyes administering additional shots for the elderly during the 3-day national vaccination drive set on Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, said Dr. Nina Gloriani, head of the country's vaccine expert panel.

Overall, more than 32.2 million people in the country have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as of Tuesday. Nearly 39.5 million others have received their first dose.

The government targets to fully inoculate some 77.1 million people for the country to achieve herd immunity against the respiratory disease.

The OCTA research group attributed the decline in new infections observed since October to the widening vaccination coverage in the country.