The Philippines logged 33,169 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total number of cases to 2,998,530, in the third straight day of record high daily tallies.
On Saturday, new record-high infections were reported with 26,458, the highest daily case count since Sept. 11, 2021. This number was surpassed on Sunday with 28,707 new infections.
The Philippines’ positivity rate climbed to 46 percent, based on 73,234 total COVID-19 tests that were conducted on January 8. The country reported a record-high figure for positivity rate for the sixth straight day.
The top regions with cases in the recent two weeks were the National Capital Region (Metro Manila) with 18,535 or 56 percent, Region 4-A (Calabarzon) with 7,443 or 23 percent, and Region 3 (Central Luzon) with 3,403 or 10 percent.
There were 145 new fatalities reported Monday, bringing the COVID-19 death toll to 52,293.
The Department of Health (DOH) also reported 3,725 new recoveries, bringing the total recoveries 2,788,711.
The number of active cases shot up to 157,526, of which 4,994 are asymptomatic; 147,912 mild; 2,858 moderate; 1,461 severe; and 301 critical.
This was the highest number of active cases since Sept. 24, 2021, when 173,408 were announced.
Nationwide, 38 percent of ICU beds, 41 percent of isolation beds, 41 percent of ward beds, and 17 percent of ventilators were in use.
In Metro Manila, 52 percent of ICU beds, 54 percent of isolation beds, 67 percent of ward beds, and 25 percent of ventilators were in use.
The independent OCTA Research Group, meanwhile, said the positivity rate in the National Capital Region (NCR) has gone up to 52 percent.
This is a slight increase from the previous 50.5 percent as of Jan.7, the first time the rate hit above 50 percent in Metro Manila.
“This is really high. At this level, our testing is having a difficult time. It’s being strained and we’re starting to lose visibility of the pandemic situation,” OCTA fellow Guido David said in an interview with Unang Balita.
“Because if the positivity rate is higher, it’s not clear if we’re testing enough of the cases that are being released.,” he said.
David said the current surge in cases was most likely due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19.
David added that international travelers who broke quarantine may have caused the local spread.
On Sunday, an additional 2.7 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine arrived from the COVAX Facility donated by the US government, raising the total number of delivered COVD-19 vaccines to 213.4 million.
David said he believes that while raising Alert Level 4 can help curb the infection rate, there is no guarantee that it could work.
“What was said in other countries, in the UK, this was likely inevitable. Most people will get infected because of the speed of transmission of the virus,” David said.