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The Philippines on Wednesday, September 1, reached a grim milestone as COVID-19 cases in the country breached the 2-million mark.
The Department of Health (DOH) tallied 14,216 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, bringing total cases in the country to 2,003,955.
Of the over two million total cases so far in the country, 7% or 140,949 cases are active or patients currently sick with the disease.
The DOH also recorded 86 fatalities, bringing the total death toll to 33,533.
Meanwhile, recoveries were up by 18,754, for a total of 1,829,473.
The DOH reported a positivity rate of 26.4% out of 51,473 tests in its bulletin. These positive cases were 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 positivity rate of 26.4% means that around one in four people tested turned out positive for the virus.
The DOH said all testing hubs were operational on Monday, August 30, while five laboratories were not able to submit their data on time. The cases reflected in the bulletin were based on tests conducted two days ago.
“The relatively low number of cases today is due to lower laboratory output last Monday,” the DOH said.
Wednesday’s reported cases followed the highest-ever single-day tally of COVID-19 cases at 22,366 on Tuesday, August 31.
August earned the dismal distinction of logging the most COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. The previous hardest-hit month was April 2021, when 290,172 new cases were registered.
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization said that Delta was the most dominant COVID-19 variant in the Philippines, and that there was a community transmission of Delta in the country.
The Delta variant, which was first detected in India, is worrisome because of its characteristics that allow the virus to quickly infect more people. Thus, it cripples health systems further and leave those who have received only half of a recommended vaccine dosage vulnerable.
The Philippines now has 1,789 known cases of the highly transmissible variant, 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