MANILA (UPDATE) - The Department of Health on Thursday reported 562 new COVID-19 cases and 176 more deaths, as late reporting of fatalities persisted.
The number of new fatalities raises the country's total to 49,936. Of the 176 newly reported deaths, only eight occurred this month, the DOH said.
It added that 12 occurred last month, 60 in October, 68 in September, eight in August, six in July, two in June, one in May, four in April, one in March, four in November last year, one in October 2020, and one in September 2020.
"This issue is currently being coordinated with the Epidemiology and Surveillance Units to ensure information is up to date," the DOH said.
Thursday's number of reported deaths is the highest in the past five days or since Dec. 4, Saturday, when 243 fatalities were reported, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.
Meanwhile, the number of new cases is the highest in four days, or since Sunday when 603 were announced, the research group said. This is also the 16th consecutive day that the daily case tally remained below 1,000, it added.
Of the 2,835,996 total recorded cases, 12,169 or 0.4 percent are active infections, based on the latest DOH bulletin. Of those still infected with the coronavirus, 446 are in critical condition, 2,177 are severe, and 3,857 are moderate cases.
The day's number of active cases is the lowest in one year and six months, or since May 29, 2020 when 11,861 were logged per DOH data that has been adjusted for duplicate and reclassified cases, the ABS-CBN IRG said.
The DOH also recorded 882 more recoveries, bringing the total number of recuperations to 2,773,891.
Fourteen duplicates were removed from the total case count, including 12 recoveries and one death, while 157 cases previously tagged as recuperations were reclassified as deaths after final validation, according to the DOH.
There were also 145 cases found to have tested negative and have been removed from the total case count, it said. These cases are recoveries, it added.
Two laboratories were non-operational on Tuesday, the DOH said.
The positivity rate was at 1.6 percent, based on test result of samples from 33,295 individuals on Dec. 7, Tuesday. It has remained below 2 percent for the 8th straight day, according to Edson Guido, head of the ABS-CBN Data Analytics Team.
The decline in new infections in the country has been attributed to the widening vaccination coverage, which, as of this week, saw more than 50 percent of the government's target already fully inoculated.
The intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization rate in Metro Manila and nationwide was at 29 percent and 26 percent, respectively.
Some 10.25 million people were inoculated during the initial run of the national vaccination drive last week, according to vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.
A total of 39.57 million individuals in the country have been fully vaccinated, while 57.64 million others have received an initial dose, Galvez said. The government aims to fully vaccinate 54 to 77.1 million people for the country to achieve herd immunity against the respiratory disease.
Another run of the nationwide vaccination drive is scheduled on Dec. 15 to 17 in a bid to prevent the spread of more transmissible COVID-19 variants.