COVID-19

Philippines’ new COVID-19 cases dip to 3,656, the lowest since July

Bonz Magsambol
Philippines’ new COVID-19 cases dip to 3,656, the lowest since July

PANDEMIC-HIT PH. Bikers pass through EDSA during the morning rush hour on June 8, 2021.

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(1st UPDATE) Wednesday's tally is the lowest since the 3,604 cases logged on July 13

The Philippines on Wednesday, October 20, logged 3,656 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest single-day fresh infections tallied in over three months. This drop is part of a downward trend since the surge driven by the highly-transmissible Delta variant sent the numbers skyrocketing in September.

Wednesday’s cases were the first time the single-day total plunged below 4,000 in over 3 months. The last time it was in that range was in July 14, when 3,806 were recorded. The Wednesday tally was also the lowest since the 3,604 logged on July 13.

The country now has total caseload of 2,735,369. Of these, 67,061 remain active or currently sick.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) also listed 5 new fatalities due to the virus, bringing the death toll to 40,977. There were 228 recoveries noted raising the total to 2,627,331.

The DOH said that the relatively low number of recoveries and deaths on Wednesday was due to technical issues in their reporting system.

“Additional recoveries and deaths shall be reflected in the case bulletin in the following days. Rest assured that the DICT (Department of Information and Communication Technology) is currently addressing these issues,” the agency said.

The DOH reported a daily positivity rate of 11.6% out of 42,296 tests in its bulletin on Wednesday. These positive cases are added to the tally of confirmed cases only after further validation. This process helps ensure cases would not be recorded in duplicate, and that all test results had been submitted, explained the department.

The health department added that all testing hubs were operational on Monday, October 18, while two laboratories were not able to submit their data on time. The cases reflected in the DOH’s bulletin are based on tests conducted two days ago.

The dip in COVID-19 cases comes as experts and DOH have said that infections in the country were already on a downward trend, including cases in virus epicenter Metro Manila.

The Philippines is now at moderate risk for COVID-19.

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Editor’s note: In earlier versions on this story, we said that Wednesday’s recorded COVID-19 cases were the first time it went below 4,000 since July 13, 2021. There were 3,806 cases in July 14. This has been corrected.

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.