Philippines reports over 12,000 COVID-19 cases for 2nd straight day

The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday, August 12, recorded 12,439 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, the second straight day that the country reported over 12,000 infections amid the threat of the Delta variant.

Thursday's uptick raised the country's total COVID-19 caseload to 1,700,363. Of these, 5.2% or 87,663 cases are active or currently sick.

The DOH also recorded 165 deaths. The total death toll due to COVID-19 in the country increased at 29,539.

Meanwhile, recoveries were up by 6,090 for a total of 1,583,161.

The DOH reported a positivity rate of 22.5% out of 57,016 tests in its bulletin. These positive cases were added to the tally of confirmed cases only after further validation. This process helped ensure cases would not be recorded in duplicate, and that all test results had been submitted, explained the department.

A positivity rate of 22% meant that 1 in 5 tested was positive for the virus.

The DOH said all testing hubs were operational on Tuesday, August 10, while two laboratories were not able to submit their data on time. The cases reflected in the bulletin were based on tests conducted two days ago.

"Based on data in the last 14 days, the 2 non-reporting labs contribute, on average, 0.2% of samples tested and 0.1% of positive individuals," the DOH said.

As Metro Manila, along with several provinces and cities, hunker down for another round of lockdown, hospitals across the country are reporting a rise in cases possibly fueled by the more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19.

A number of hospitals in the capital region declared that their COVID-19 wards and intensive care units have reached full capacity. (READ: Philippine hospitals already feeling the rise of the Delta variant cases)

177 new Delta cases

On Thursday, the DOH also reported the detection of 177 new cases of the Delta variant. Of these, 144 are local cases, three are returning overseas Filipinos, and 30 cases are still for verification.

The Philippines now has 627 known cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant, but there are concerns that the actual number may be far higher, as the Philippine Genome Center is only sequencing a small percentage of the positive cases.

The fact that Delta is now regarded as the "fastest and the fittest" variant of SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 also gives reason to assume there are more cases than what is currently being reported. If the original virus can infect about three people, and the Alpha variant can infect some four to five, Delta can infect up to eight people. – Rappler.com

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.

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