PH COVID-19 cases climb by 3,749, highest in nearly 6 months

Bonz Magsambol

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PH COVID-19 cases climb by 3,749, highest in nearly 6 months

PANDEMIC-HIT PHILIPPINES. Commuters crowd a sidewalk along EDSA in Quezon City on March 8, 2021.


A year into the pandemic, the Philippines has 607,048 cases of COVID-19
PH COVID-19 cases climb by 3,749, highest in nearly 6 months

Exactly a year after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic, the Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday, March 11, reported 3,749 new COVID-19 cases, the highest since September 19, 2020 – when the country logged 3,962.

Thursday’s caseload pushed the Philippines’ total infections to 607,048.

Coronavirus deaths also continue to rise with 63 new fatalities, bringing the death toll to 12,608. Recoveries grew by 406 to 546,671.

Of the total cases, 47,769 are active.

Only 4 testing laboratories were not able to submit their data on time.

The positivity rate – or the percentage of all COVID-19 tests performed that turned out positive – also hit 11%, based on the DOH bulletin. It is the highest since September 9, 2020, when 11.21% was recorded.

The WHO recommends that positivity rates remain below 5% for at least two weeks before governments can consider reopening the economy. (READ: Duterte to reopen economy when most Filipinos have access to COVID-19 vaccine)

On Tuesday, March 9, Octa Research fellow Guido David told Rappler that cases in virus epicenter Metro Manila are climbing faster than expected as “actual cases are now beating” their projections.

The spike in cases comes following the detection of more infectious variants of COVID-19 in the Philippines, such as the South Africa (B1351) and United Kingdom (B117) variants.

But Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the rise in cases “cannot be solely attributed” to the new variants. She said the “underlying cause” of why the country is experiencing a spike in cases is the public’s “non-compliance” with health protocols. –

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler.