Philippines logs less than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for 8th straight day

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 01 2021 04:14 PM | Updated as of Dec 01 2021 05:34 PM

Quezon City residents queue for their COVID-19 vaccine dose at the Batasan Hills National High School on November 29, 2021, the start of the
Quezon City residents queue for their COVID-19 vaccine dose at the Batasan Hills National High School on November 29, 2021, the start of the "National COVID-19 Vaccination Day". The 3-day vaccination drive starting today up to December 1 aims to vaccinate 9 million people, focusing on first doses and booster shots. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines announced 500 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the eighth consecutive day the daily tally fell below 1,000, data from the health department showed. 

This is the second lowest number of fresh cases so far this year following 425 new infections on Tuesday, the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group said.

Of the 2,833,038 total recorded cases, 15,327 or 0.5 percent were active infections, according to the latest Department of Health (DOH) bulletin. It is the lowest number of active cases since June 5 last year when 15,151 were recorded, the research group said.

The DOH said there were also 167 more COVID-19 related deaths, increasing its total to 48,712. The number of new fatalities is the highest in four days, or since Nov. 27 when 188 were reported, according to the ABS-CBN IRG.

There were also 951 more recoveries, raising the total number of recuperations to 2,768,999. 

Nine duplicates were removed from the total case count, including 8 recoveries, while 147 cases previously tagged as recuperations were reclassified as deaths after final validation, according to the DOH.

It also said that 187 cases, of which 186 were recoveries, were found to have tested negative and have been removed from the total case count.

The positivity rate was at 2.1 percent, based on test results of samples from of 30,841 individuals on Nov. 29, Monday. This is the second lowest since testing data became available in April 2020, according to Edson Guido, head of the ABS-CBN Data Analytics Team.

The total number of COVID-19 infections confirmed in November at 47,954 is the lowest monthly tally so far this year, Guido said. It is followed by February with 50,699 cases, he added.

Two laboratories were non-operational on Monday while three others were unable to submit their data, the DOH said. The five laboratories contribute on average 1.5 percent of samples tested and 1 percent of positive cases, it added.

The intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization rate in Metro Manila and nationwide was at 28 percent and 27 percent, respectively. 

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The government is eyeing another run of its 3-day vaccination drive on Dec. 15 to 17 in a bid to boost its defense against the more transmissible variants of COVID-19, said acting Palace spokesman Karlo Nograles. Its initial run is set to end later Wednesday.

The Philippines has so far fully vaccinated 35.9 million people against COVID-19, while 46.3 million others have received an initial dose and 233,949 have received a third dose or a booster shot as of Tuesday, according to data gathered by the ABS-CBN IRG.

The Food and Drug Administration has amended the emergency use authorization of COVID-19 vaccines to include booster shots for all adult Filipinos or those aged 18 and above, Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said.