The Philippines on Thursday, September 9, recorded 22,820 new COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day tally since the pandemic began.
The new record of cases on Thursday raised the country's total COVID-19 caseload to 2,161,892. Of these, 7.7% or 166,672 cases are active or currently sick.
The DOH also recorded 61 deaths. The total death toll due to COVID-19 now stood at 34,733.
Meanwhile, recoveries were up by 12,337 for a total of 1,960,487.
The Department of Health (DOH) reported a positivity rate of 29.4% out of 74,706 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 positivity rate of 29.4%, which was also the highest since the pandemic started, meant that 1 in 4 people tested was positive for the virus.
The DOH said all testing hubs were operational on Tuesday, September 7, 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.
"Based on data in the last 14 days, the 5 non-reporting labs contribute, on average, 2.3% of samples tested and 2.6% of positive individuals." the DOH said.
The technical issues experienced by its reporting system delayed the DOH's announcement of Thursday's COVID-19 case bulletin to 8:30 pm, from the usual 4 pm.
The all-time high COVID-19 cases come as the Philippines is dealing with the highly transmissible Delta variant that has crippled the healthcare systems of Southeast Asian countries, such as in Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia.
In virus epicenter Metro Manila, a number of hospitals have declared full capacity in their COVID-19 wards.
The DOH said the public should expect a spike in infections in the coming days. On Tuesday, September 7, the Philippines' coronavirus task force retained the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila until September 15, delaying the expected transition of the capital region to a new lockdown system.
On Monday, September 6, the Delta variant was also officially detected in all regions of the Philippines.
The Philippines now has 2,068 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