DOH reports 44% surge in daily COVID-19 infections
MANILA, Philippines — New COVID-19 infections rose to 2,091 a day last week, or 44 percent higher than the previous week’s 1,467 average daily cases, the Department of Health (DOH) reported on Monday.
According to the DOH, 35 of the 14,640 confirmed new COVID-19 cases last week were severe or critical, while the vast majority were mild, asymptomatic, or moderate. There were 10,271 reported cases the previous week.
The DOH added that no COVID-19 death has occurred in the past two weeks or from July 4 to 17.
On Sunday, the country recorded 2,560 new infections of COVID-19, the fourth consecutive day that the DOH has logged more than 2,000 daily infections.
The DOH COVID-19 tracker showed that Metro Manila remained the region with the most number of infections in the last two weeks with 9,713 cases. It was followed by Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) with 5,420, and Western Visayas with 2,261.
Quezon City topped the list of areas with the most reported cases of COVID-19 over the last two weeks with 1,886, followed by the province of Cavite with 1,827 and Manila with 1,316.
Health-care utilization slightly increased but remained at a low-risk level, or below 50 percent, according to the latest DOH data.
The occupancy rate of COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) beds went up from 17 percent last week to 18.3 percent, with 481 out of 2,630 ICU beds in use.
The utilization rate for non-ICU beds went up from 22.7 percent last week to 23.8 percent, equivalent to 5,189 beds in use out of 21,809 beds.
The DOH reported that 589 patients, or 8.7 percent of total COVID-19 admissions, were severely or critically ill.
The country’s official COVID-19 death toll has reached 60,641 out of 3,733,101 confirmed cases.
The DOH reported 19,873 active cases or people who are still infected with the virus.
The National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) said around 71.3 million individuals, or 91.32 percent of the target population, have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The target is to fully vaccinate 78,100,578 individuals or 70 percent of the total population.
However, 49,747,468 fully vaccinated individuals who are eligible for their booster shot have not availed themselves of the additional protection against the more infectious variants of the virus.
According to the NVOC, out of 65.34 million individuals due for their first booster shot, only 15,592,533 have received the booster dose.
High positivity rates
The independent pandemic monitor OCTA Research had earlier raised concern about rising positivity rates across the country.
On Sunday, it reported that five provinces had registered “very high” or more than 20 percent COVID-19 positivity rates.
Based on the World Health Organization’s standard, the positivity rate should be 5 percent or less.
The provinces with “very high” positivity rates as of July 15 were Laguna, 22.5 percent; Nueva Ecija, 22.9 percent; Pampanga, 23.5 percent; Tarlac, 27.5 percent; and Aklan, 31.9 percent
Octa Research fellow Guido David urged residents in these areas to take caution to avoid being infected.
“In provinces where the positivity rate is very high, i.e. above 20 percent, the public is strongly advised to practice necessary caution to prevent COVID infection,” he said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Metro Manila, which has the most number of new COVID-19 infections, posted a 12.6 positivity rate. This was up from 10.9 percent recorded in the capital region on July 9.
Nationally, the country’s positivity rate was at 9.5 percent, according to the DOH.
Despite the rising COVID-19 infections, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, also the DOH officer in charge, had noted that all areas in the country were still at “low risk” as severe and critical infections, as well as the average daily attack rate, remained low.
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