MANILA (UPDATE)—The Philippines on Saturday reported 1,474 more COVID-19 infections, with the daily tally below 1,500 for a 5th straight day, data showed.
Based on the Department of Health's (DOH) bulletin, the country now has 2,824,499 total reported COVID-19 cases, of which 0.8 percent or 22,070 are still active.
ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido said the day's active infections were the lowest since January 10.
The positivity rate was at 3.2 percent, based on samples collected from 38,636 individuals on Thursday.
Guido noted that this was the 8th straight day that the country's positivity rate fell below 5 percent. The World Health Organization benchmark is 5 percent below for at least 2 weeks.
"[The] 3.2 percent positivity rate is the 2nd lowest since data became available in April 2020," said Guido.
COVID-related deaths increased by 205, raising the total to 46,903. This was the 4th straight day that daily fatalities counted more than 200.
A majority or 169 of the day's fatalities was first tagged as recoveries, the DOH said.
Recoveries also climbed by 2,565 to 2,755,526. The total number of recoveries account for 97.6 percent of the country's running tally.
Fifteen duplicates have been excluded from the total, of which 13 are recoveries.
"In addition, 170 cases were found to have tested negative and have been removed from the total case count. Of these, 169 are recoveries," the DOH added.
Two laboratories were not operational and failed to submit data on November 18.
The DOH earlier in the day said the country could register about 7,000 active COVID-19 cases by mid-December if the current health protocols were maintained.
This could increase to about 20,000 in the same period if compliance to public health standards become lax and mobility further eases.
The National Task Force Against COVID-19 earlier in the day said government was prepared to shift to Alert Level 1 in Metro Manila should the country's pandemic situation continue to improve.
The government is banking on the country's vaccination to safely and fully reopen the pandemic-hit economy.
This week, government began administering booster shots to health workers to protect its population against more transmissible COVID-19 variants.
Authorities also allowed wider vaccination of teens aged 12 to 17 earlier this month.
Vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr. said the country could start vaccinating the elderly and people with health risks "as earliest" as next week or by early December.