Philippines reports 370 new COVID-19 cases as 5 labs fail to submit data

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 08 2021 04:17 PM | Updated as of Dec 08 2021 07:48 PM

A mother sanitizes her child after attending the first day of face to face classes at the Ricardo P. Cruz Sr. Elementary School in Taguig City on December 6, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
A mother sanitizes her child after attending the first day of face to face classes at the Ricardo P. Cruz Sr. Elementary School in Taguig City on December 6, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (3rd UPDATE) - The Department of Health on Wednesday reported 370 new COVID-19 cases, the second lowest daily tally so far this year, as five laboratories failed to submit testing data.

This is the second straight day that the number of cases remained below 500, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.

Two laboratories were non-operational on Monday while five others were unable to submit their data, the DOH said. These seven laboratories contribute on average 1.2 percent of samples tested and 1.9 percent of positive cases, it added.

Of the 2,835,593 total recorded cases, 12,510 or 0.4 percent were active infections, based on the latest Department of Health (DOH) bulletin. 

This is the lowest number of active ca Philippines reports 370 new COVID-19 cases as 5 labs fail to submit datases since May 30 last year when 12,342 were reported, the ABS-CBN IRG said, citing DOH data adjusted for duplicate and reclassified cases.

COVID-related deaths increased by 171 to 49,761. Of the additional fatalities, only six occurred this month while 19 percent happened last month, the DOH said as it noted continued late encoding of deaths.

"This issue is currently being coordinated with the Epidemiology and Surveillance Units to ensure information is up to date," it said.

There were 861 more recoveries, raising the total number of recuperations to 2,773,322. 

A total of 27 duplicates were removed from the overall case count, including 25 recoveries and one death, while 150 cases that were previously tagged as recuperations were reclassified as deaths after final validation, the DOH said.

It added that 95 cases, of which 92 were recoveries, were found to have tested negative and have been removed from the total case count.

The positivity rate was at 1.6 percent, based on test result of samples from 28,942 individuals on Dec. 6, Monday. The country's virus positivity rate remained below 2 percent daily in the past week, according to Edson Guido, head of the ABS-CBN Data Analytics Team.

The intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization rate in Metro Manila and nationwide was at 24 percent each. This is the lowest figure since data became available, Guido said.

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The Philippines has yet to detect the omicron variant, which was first reported in South Africa, Botswana, and Hong Kong, according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

Authorities have so far traced 81 out of 253 travelers from South Africa who arrived in the country between Nov. 15 and 29, Vergeire said. 

Of the total, 78 were returning Filipinos and three were foreign nationals, she said. The verification of 165 more travelers is ongoing, she added.

Five travelers re-tested for COVID-19, comprised of two returning Filipinos and three foreign nationals, were negative.

The omicron variant does not appear to be worse than other coronavirus variants, according to top scientists from the World Health Organization and the United States as they said more research was needed to judge its severity.

The government has so far fully vaccinated 38.7 million people, while 53.5 million others have received an initial dose, according to data gathered by the ABS-CBN IRG.