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MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, January 10, reported 33,169 new coronavirus infections, the highest since the pandemic was declared in March 2020.
Monday’s cases bring the country’s total caseload to 2,998,530. Of these, 5.3% or 157,526 remain active or are currently sick.
The DOH also recorded 145 deaths. The total death toll due to COVID-19 in the country increased at 52,293.
Meanwhile, recoveries were up by 3,725 for a total of 2,788,711.
The DOH reported a record-high positivity rate of 46% out of 73,234 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.
The DOH said all testing hubs were operational on Saturday, January 8, while 10 laboratories were not able to submit their data on time. The cases reflected in the bulletin were based on tests conducted two days ago.
In Metro Manila, positivity rate, or the percentage of all COVID-19 tests performed that turn out positive, has reached 52%. This means that one in two people tested turned out positive for COVID-19.
Data from DOH monitored by Rappler showed that nationwide hospital bed occupancy remains low risk at 38.1%, but increasing in some regions, especially in Metro Manila.
As of January 8, hospital beds occupancy rate in the capital region was at 56.8%.
An infectious disease specialist said on Monday that the spike in COVID-19 infections in virus epicenter Metro Manila is an “indication of massive and uncontrolled community transmission” of the highly contagious Omicron variant.
In a text message to Rappler, Dr. Rontgene Solante said the surge in cases is “an indication of how transmissible the virus is, three to fives times vs Delta, high secondary attack and high household transmission.”
The Philippines had detected 43 cases of Omicron, 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. – Rappler.com