MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines on Wednesday recorded the lowest number of active COVID-19 cases this year and announced 890 new infections, data from the health department showed.
Of the 2,828,660 total confirmed cases, 17,864 or 0.6 percent were active infections, according to the latest Department of Health (DOH) bulletin.
The last time the number of active cases fell below 18,000 was on June 11, 2020 with 17,754, the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group said.
Meantime, the number of fresh cases is the second lowest daily tally this year following 841 reported new infections on Nov. 16, according to the research group. This is the third time in the last 9 days that the tally fell below 1,000, it said.
COVID-related deaths increased by 200 to 47,682 while 1,710 more recoveries were reported, raising its total to 2,763,114.
The number of recoveries is the lowest in five days, or since Nov. 19, when 1,393 recuperations were recorded.
Seventeen duplicates were removed from the total case count, of which 15 were recoveries, according to the DOH. Thirty-three cases were also found to have tested negative and have been removed from the total case count, including 19 recoveries, it said.
It added that 179 cases previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation.
The country's COVID-19 positivity rate was at 2.5 percent, based on test results of samples from 32,254 individuals on Nov. 22, Monday. This is the 12th consecutive day that the positivity rate remained below 5 percent, the threshold of the World Health Organization.
Two laboratories were not operational on Monday while three others, which contribute on average 1.8 percent of samples tested and 1.5 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 29 percent and 31 percent, respectively.
The decline in virus cases has largely been attributed to the country's wide vaccination coverage.
The government has begun administering booster shots and third doses to health workers, senior citizens, and immunocompromised individuals. It started inoculating children ages 12 to 17 earlier this month.
It has so far fully vaccinated 34.2 million individuals, while 43.3 million others have received an initial dose.
Metro Manila is under Alert Level 2, the second-lowest in a 5-step system, until Nov. 30. It must maintain its low risk case classification and vaccinate at least 70 percent of its vulnerable population to de-escalate to Alert Level 1, the DOH earlier said.