8,719 new COVID-19 cases push Philippines' caseload to 979,740

The Philippines on Friday, April 23, logged 8,719 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the country's total to 979,740.

Of the total cases, 10.5% or 102,799 are active or currently sick.

The Department of Health (DOH) also reported 159 new deaths due to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 16,529.

Meanwhile, recoveries are up by 13,812, raising the total to 860,412.

Since Monday, April 19, the DOH has been doing "daily time-based tagging" of recoveries. Prior to this, mass recovery strategy was tallied only on Sundays.

The number of active cases was almost halved since Saturday, April 17, when 203,710 active cases were recorded.

The DOH also reported a positivity rate of 17.1% out of 50,968 tests in its bulletin. These positive cases are added to the tally of confirmed cases only after further validation. This process helps ensure that cases would not be recorded in duplicates, and that all test results had been submitted, explained the department.

The DOH said that one testing hub was not operational on April 21 while 6 laboratories were not able to submit their data on time. The cases reflected on DOH's case bulletin was based on tests conducted two days ago.

On Friday morning, the Philippines' Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said health authorities recorded 24 fatalities after COVID-19 vaccinations, but most of those who died had preexisting illnesses.

FDA Director General Eric Domingo said that of the 24 deaths recorded after COVID-19 vaccinations in the country, "19 were found to be coincidental" as they had preexisting illnesses. – Rappler.com

Read this two-part series on the COVID-19 pandemic surge in the country:

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.