MANILA (UPDATE)— The Philippines on Friday reported 1,485 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily tally in four days, data from the health department showed.
Of the total 2,823,210 cases, 23,200 or 0.8 percent were active infections, according to the latest Department of Health (DOH) bulletin. This is the 10th straight day that the number of active cases was fewer than 30,000, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.
The number of fresh cases has remained below 2,000 for 9 consecutive days, the research group added.
COVID-related deaths increased by 277, resulting in a total of 46,698 fatalities. This is the lowest daily tally since Tuesday when the DOH announced 99 deaths, according to the ABS-CBN IRG.
The DOH also reported 1,393 more recoveries, raising the total number of recuperations to 2,753,312. This is the lowest in a month or since Oct. 20 when 228 recoveries were recorded, the research group said.
A total of 28 duplicates were removed from the total case count, including 24 recoveries and one death, while 230 cases previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation, the DOH said.
The positivity rate was at 3.5 percent, based on samples of 43,039 individuals on Nov. 17, Wednesday. The country's COVID-19 positivity rate remained below 5 percent in the past week, according to Edson Guido, head of the ABS-CBN Data Analytics Team.
"Furthermore, the positivity rate in the past 2 weeks is at its lowest level since testing data became available in April 2020," he said.
The World Health Organization's (WHO) benchmark for positivity rate is 5 percent or lower for at least 2 weeks. A relatively high rate means virus transmission is high and more people should be tested.
A laboratory which contributes on average 0.6 percent of samples tested and 0.3 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 32 percent and 33 percent, respectively.
The DOH on Friday released a list of immunocompromised conditions eligible for additional COVID-19 jabs pending the date of its rollout to the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions.
Government on Wednesday began administering booster shots to health workers to protect its population against more transmissible COVID-19 variants.
The Food and Drug Administration has also approved the clinical trial for COVID-19 vaccine mix-and-match, said Rowena Guevara, Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary for Research and Development.
The Philippines has fully vaccinated 32.9 million individuals while some 40.9 million others have received an initial dose as of Thursday, according to government data.