MANILA - The Philippines on Thursday announced 564 new COVID-19 cases, the third lowest daily tally so far this year, data from the health department showed.
The Department of Health reported 425 fresh infections on Tuesday and 500 on Wednesday.
The positivity rate was at 1.7 percent, based on test results of samples from 34,918 individuals on Nov. 30, Tuesday. It is the second lowest announced by the DOH, after the 1.2 percent logged on April 5 last year when testing data started becoming available, said ABS-CBN News Data Analytics Team head Edson Guido.
Of the country's 2,833,473 total recorded cases, 15,188 or 0.5 percent were active infections, according to the latest DOH bulletin.
This is the lowest number of active cases since June 5 last year, when 15,151 were recorded, said the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group. It is also the lowest so far this year, it added.
COVID-related deaths increased by 40 to 48,752. This is the lowest daily addition in a month, or since Oct. 20 when 5 fatalities were announced, according to the research group.
The DOH also announced 694 more recoveries, raising the total number of recuperations to 2,769,533.
Six duplicates were removed from the total case count, including five recoveries, while 32 cases previously tagged as recuperations were reclassified as deaths after final validation, the DOH said.
A total of 123 cases, classified as recoveries, were found to have tested negative and have been removed from the total case count, the agency added.
Two laboratories were non-operational on Tuesday while three others were were unable to submit their data, the DOH said. The five laboratories contribute on average 0.9 percent of samples tested and 0.3 percent of positive cases,
The intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization rate in Metro Manila and nationwide was at 27 percent each.
All fully vaccinated people aged 18 and above may receive their COVID-19 booster shots beginning Friday, the DOH said, as the government ramps up its inoculation drive.
The qualified fully vaccinated individuals are those who received their second dose at least 6 months ago, or those who received their Janssen vaccine 3 months ago, according to Health Undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.
Local governments have also volunteered to extend the 3-day national vaccination drive after more than 7.6 million were inoculated from Monday to Wednesday, the DOH said.
Another run of the "National Vaccination Day" is set on Dec. 15 to 17, according to Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje.
The Philippines has fully vaccinated 36.4 million individuals, while 49.7 million others have received an initial dose as of Nov. 30, according to data gathered by the ABS-CBN IRG.
The government aims to fully immunize at least 50 million by yearend to achieve population protection as more transmissible variants of COVID-19 emerge.