MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines on Monday reported its lowest COVID-19 positivity rate at 1.1 percent since testing data became available, as it also announced 360 new confirmed infections, data from the health department showed.
The positivity rate was based on test results of samples from 35,811 individuals last Saturday, Dec. 11. Prior to Monday's report, the lowest positivity rate the country has recorded was 1.2 percent, ABS-CBN Data Analytics Team head Edson Guido said.
Monday is the fourth straight day that the number of new cases counted fewer than 400, the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group said, noting that figures announced in previous days have been adjusted for duplicate cases.
Of the newly reported cases, 348 (97%) occurred within the recent 14 days (Nov. 30 - Dec. 13, 2021), the research group said. Metro Manila topped the regions with newly detected cases in the recent two weeks, with 65 (or 19%), followed by Region 4-A and Region 6, with 32 each, it added.
The declining trend in new cases observed since October this year has been attributed by health officials and analysts to the widening vaccination coverage in the country. As of Dec. 8, more than 39.5 million people or slightly more than half of the target population are already fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while over 54 million others have received their first dose.
Of the 2,836,803 total recorded cases in the Philippines, 11,083 or 0.4 percent are active infections, the Department of Health (DOH) said in its latest bulletin.
Of those still battling the disease, 399 are in critical condition, 1,948 are severe, and 3,662 are moderate cases. The remaining include 4,292 mild cases and 782 asymptomatic cases.
The number of active cases is the lowest in one year and six months, or since May 28, 2020 when 10,966 were recorded per DOH data that have been adjusted for duplicate and reclassified cases, the ABS-CBN IRG said.
The intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization rate in Metro Manila and across the country was at 25 percent and 23 percent, respectively. Guido said the nationwide rate is the lowest since data became available.
COVID-related deaths, meanwhile, increased by 61 to 50,341.
This is the lowest daily tally of deaths in three days, or since Dec. 10 when 25 were announced by the DOH.
The ABS-CBN IRG noted that of the newly reported deaths, only nine occurred this month. The rest were in November (26 deaths), October (23 deaths) and September (three deaths) as late encoding of data to the COVIDKaya system persisted.
Total recoveries reached 2,775,379 as 519 more were recorded, the DOH said.
According to the agency, four laboratories were not operational last Saturday and five laboratories were not able to submit their data.
It also said that two duplicates and 147 cases found to have tested negative were removed from the total case count. There were also 49 cases previously tagged as recoveries that were were reclassified as deaths after final validation.