MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines started 2022 with 3,617 new COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day tally since October 30, 2021, when 4,008 new cases were reported.
The country’s total COVID-19 caseload as of Saturday, January 1, is 2,847,486.
Of the total cases, 17,374 are active or currently sick. This is the highest since November 26, when 17,853 active cases were reported by the Department of Health (DOH). Active cases now comprise 0.6% of total cases in the country.
The average number of new cases in the past seven days is now at 1,466 – the highest since November 19 when it was at 1,470.
Of the 3,617 cases reported on Saturday, 3,607 occurred within the recent 14 days. The top regions with reported cases during this period were still Metro Manila (2,526), Calabarzon (570), and Central Luzon (199).
The government on Friday, December 31, announced that it is placing Metro Manila under Alert Level 3 from January 3 to 15, following the rising number of cases in the region. It was previously announced that the capital region would remain under the looser Alert Level 2 along with the rest of the Philippines.
The positivity rate, or the percentage of people who tested positive for the virus among all who have been tested, is also at the highest in almost three months at 14.8%. This is the highest daily rate since October 9, when it was at 15.6%.
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 also reported on Saturday 43 new deaths due to COVID-19, but only five of these deaths happened in December 2021. The rest occurred in previous months and were only reported on Saturday “due to late encoding of death information,” said the DOH.
The country’s death toll due to COVID-19 is now at 51,545. Meanwhile, recoveries were up by 468, raising the total to 2,778,567.
Two of the laboratories were not operational and six failed to submit data on Thursday, December 30. Based on data from the past two weeks, these eight laboratories account for 0.2% of all samples and 0.1% of positive cases.
The increase in cases comes amid the threat of the highly transmissible Omicron variant. The health department said on Friday that there is already a “high possibility” of local transmission of the new variant in the Philippines.
As of Friday, the Philippines has detected a total of 14 Omicron cases – three of which are local cases. – Rappler.com