COVID-19

Philippines reports 235 COVID-19 cases, lowest in nearly 19 months

Bonz Magsambol
Philippines reports 235 COVID-19 cases, lowest in nearly 19 months

NO COMPLACENCY. This file photo shows health workers undergoing coronavirus swab test.

Rappler

The Department of Health says four testing hubs were not operational at the time of reporting, while eight laboratories were not able to submit their data

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Tuesday, December 14, reported 235 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest in nearly 19 months or since May 23, 2020, when the country logged 180 infections at the time.

Tuesday’s cases bring the country’s total caseload to 2,836,868. Of these, 0.4% or 10,526 remain active or are currently sick.

The Department of Health (DOH) also recorded 10 deaths. The total death toll in the country due to COVID-19 increased to 50,351.

Meanwhile, recoveries were up by 780, for a total of 2,775,991.

The DOH, in its bulletin, reported a positivity rate of 0.9% out of 24,120 tests. These positive cases were added to the tally of confirmed cases only after further validation – a process, according to the department, that helped ensure the submission of all test results and that cases would not be recorded in duplicate.

The DOH said four testing hubs were not operational on Sunday, December 12, while eight laboratories were not able to submit their data on time. The cases reflected in the bulletin were based on tests conducted two days ago.

COVID-19 cases reported every first half of the week are usually low due to the non-operation of testing hubs and delays in data transmission. Regardless, Tuesday’s low number of cases marked five straight days of new infections below 500 and three weeks below 1,000 cases.

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Despite the continued decrease in cases, the DOH reminded the public not to be complacent and to continue following health protocols, especially now that a more transmissible variant of COVID-19 called Omicron has been spreading quickly in other African and European countries.

On Tuesday morning, Dr. Aletheia de Guzman said all regions in the country now have “minimal” risk case classification. She still warned the public not to be complacent, especially since preliminary studies suggest that the Omicron variant is more transmissible than Delta, which fueled fresh surges in infections across the globe in the middle of 2021.

De Guzman said that based on studies, 1 Omicron case can infect up to 10 people. Delta can infect up to 8. Rappler.com

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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.