New COVID-19 cases ease down to 5,867; active infections highest at 86,200 | Inquirer News
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New COVID-19 cases ease down to 5,867; active infections highest at 86,200

/ 04:19 PM March 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — New COVID-19 cases in the country that were reported on Tuesday eased down to 5,867, pushing the country’s total coronavirus cases to 677,653 amid the renewed surge of infections.

Of the tally, 12.7 percent or 86,200 are active cases or patients who are currently sick. This is so far the highest number of active cases in the country since the pandemic began. The previous highest record was on August 15 last year, when the country logged 83,109 active cases.

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Meanwhile, recoveries were up by 620, bringing the total number of patients who have survived the disease to 578,461. Recoveries represent 85.4 percent of the case count.

The DOH also reported 20 new fatalities, raising the death toll to 12,992. Deaths compose 1.92 percent of the total tally.

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Six duplicate entries were removed from the case count, while eight cases previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths.

Nine laboratories were not able to submit their data to the COVID-19 Document Repository System on Monday, according to the health department.

The new cases show the continuous surge of coronavirus infections in the country, which started late February and early March and broke the previously stabilizing COVID-19 figures.

On Monday, the country recorded 8,019 cases, the highest single-day increase since the pandemic.

Following the consistent increase in cases, the national government has placed Metro Manila and the nearby provinces of Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal, and Laguna under a general community quarantine bubble from March 22 to April 4.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier confirmed that the more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants that were first reported in the United Kingdom and South Africa were already present in all cities in Metro Manila, the virus epicenter in the country.

She said that the variants have contributed to the increase of COVID-19 cases, but added that the “root cause” to the surge is still the public’s non-compliance to minimum public health standards.

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Latest data from the DOH showed that there are already 223 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 (UK variant), 152 cases of the B.1.351 (South African variant), one case of the P.1 (Brazil variant) and 104 cases of the P.3 variant found in the Philippines.

The first three variants have been associated with higher transmissibility of the virus, with initial studies showing the South African variant may also have an impact on some vaccines. The P.3 variant, meanwhile, has not yet been declared as a variant of concern since current data is still insufficient.

Vergeire, however, added that the DOH is still awaiting confirmation from the World Health Organization before concluding that there is already community transmission of these variants.

JE

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