Philippines records 1,153 new COVID-19 cases, 2.3 pct positivity rate

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 23 2021 04:20 PM | Updated as of Nov 23 2021 05:29 PM

 People visit the SM By the Bay at the Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City on November 19, 2021. As Metro Manila eases age restrictions and increases venue capacities in malls, the NCR mayors have endorsed the restrictions of mobility of minors to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) as they believe that they are in the best position to decide on the matter. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
People visit the SM By the Bay at the Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City on November 19, 2021. As Metro Manila eases age restrictions and increases venue capacities in malls, the NCR mayors have endorsed the restrictions of mobility of minors to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) as they believe that they are in the best position to decide on the matter. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines on Tuesday recorded 1,153 new COVID-19 cases, the 22nd consecutive day that the daily tally remained below 3,000, data from the health department showed.

The Department of Health also announced a 2.3 percent positivity rate, based on test results of samples from 25,562 individuals last Sunday, Nov. 21. It is the second lowest positivity rate in the country since data became available in April last year, said Edson Guido, head of the ABS-CBN Data Analytics Team.

Of the 2,827,820 total recorded cases, 18,721 or 0.7 percent were active infections, according to the latest DOH bulletin. 

This is the lowest number of active infections since Jan. 10 this year when 18,131 were reported, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and research group, citing DOH data adjusted for duplicate and reclassified cases.

The number of fresh cases is the second lowest in the last seven days, the research group added. The Philippines on Monday recorded 984 new cases.

COVID-related deaths increased by 195 to 47,482. This is the second time in the last seven days that the daily death toll counted fewer than 200, the ABS-CBN IRG said.

The DOH also reported 2,182 more recoveries, raising the total number of recuperations to 2,761,617. This is the lowest in four days or since Nov. 19, when 1,393 recoveries were logged. 

A total of 99 duplicates were removed from the total case count, including 94 recoveries and one death, according to the DOH. Eighty-seven cases were found to have tested negative and have been removed from the total case count, of which 68 were recoveries, the agency said.

The DOH added that 170 cases previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation.

Tuesday's positivity rate is the second lowest, after the 1.2 percent rate for April 5, 2020, said Guido. On Monday, the DOH reported a 2.8 percent positivity rate.

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.

The widening vaccination coverage in the country has been cited as among key reasons for the decline in new infections observed since last month. 

Two laboratories were not operational last Sunday, while eight others, which contribute on average 2 percent of samples tested and 2.2 percent of positive cases, were unable to submit their data, the DOH said.

The intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization rate in Metro Manila and nationwide was at 31 percent and 32 percent, respectively. 

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All regions in the country are now classified as "low risk" for COVID-19, the DOH said Monday as the alert level system was implemented nationwide.

Catanduanes was placed under Alert Level 4, the second-highest in a 5-step system that allows a maximum of 10 percent indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated persons, and 30 percent outdoor venue capacity.

Twelve areas were placed under Alert level 3, while Metro Manila and the rest of the regions were placed under Alert Level 2.

The government has also began administering booster shots and third doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the elderly and immunocompromised, after an initial rollout to health workers last week.

As of Monday, more than 33.8 million people in the country have been fully vaccinated against the respiratory disease, while more than 42.6 million others have received their first dose, data monitored by the ABS-CBN IRG showed.

The government targets to fully vaccinate some 77.1 million people for the country to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19.