COVID-19

‘New normal’ in sight? PH COVID-19 positivity rate below 5% for 14 straight days

Bonz Magsambol
‘New normal’ in sight? PH COVID-19 positivity rate below 5% for 14 straight days

PANDEMIC. Bikers pass through EDSA during the morning rush hour, on June 8.

RAPPLER

The health department reports 863 new COVID-19 cases in the country, the third consecutive day of cases below the 1,000-mark

The Philippines’ COVID-19 positivity rate has stayed below 5% for 14 straight days, as the Department of Health (DOH) on Friday, November 26, reported a rate of 2.5% out of the 38,998 tests conducted in the country.

The World Health Organization (WHO) set the 5% positivity rate benchmark for entering the new normal. This, however, should be maintained by at least two weeks for governments to consider reopening.

The positivity rate is the percentage of all COVID-19 tests performed that are actually positive. These positive cases wereadded 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 DOH.

The DOH said that two testing hubs were not operational on Wednesday, November 24, while two laboratories were unable to submit its data on time. The cases reflected in the bulletin were based on tests conducted two days ago.

Below are the dates with their corresponding positivity rates below 5%:

  • November 11 – 4.4%
  • November 12 – 3.9%
  • November 13 – 3.9%
  • November 14 – 3.1%
  • November 15 – 3.4%
  • November 16 – 3.4%
  • November 17 – 3.5%
  • November 18 – 3.2%
  • November 19 – 2.8%
  • November 20 – 2.8%
  • November 21 – 2.2%
  • November 22 – 2.5%
  • November 23 – 2.8%
  • November 24 – 2.5%

On Friday, the DOH reported 863 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the country’s total caseload to 2,830,387. Of these, 0.6% or 17,853 remain active or are currently sick.

The DOH also recorded 142 deaths. The total death toll due to COVID-19 in the country increased at 48,017.

Meanwhile, recoveries were up by 791 for a total of 2,764,517.

On Thursday, November 25, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the government won’t declare just yet that the pandemic in the country has been contained.

“We are not going to declare this soon. We are just coordinating with WHO (World Health Organization) on the process and the determinants of disease control or containment,” she told reporters.

The Philippines posted its latest COVID-19 numbers as the world monitors a new coronavirus variant first found in South African countries, called B.1.1.529.

Scientists have said that the new variant has a “very unusual constellation” of mutations, which is a cause for concern because this could help it evade the body’s immune response and make it more transmissible. A number of countries have already imposed restrictions against travelers from Southern Africa due to the new variant. – Rappler.com

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.