COVID positivity in Metro Manila, 13 provinces tops 5%
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) reported on Monday that the country’s daily average number of COVID-19 cases rose to 341 last week, a 23-percent increase compared to 278 cases from the week before.
Metro Manila and 13 provinces also saw their positivity rate exceed the 5-percent threshold recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) to indicate that transmission of the virus was under control.
Out of the 2,386 new COVID-19 infections confirmed by testing laboratories last week, 17 cases were in serious or critical condition, according to the DOH.
To date, 356 COVID-19 patients were in serious or critical condition out of the 3,163 who had been admitted to hospitals. Those confined accounted for 33 percent of the 9,569 individuals found to still be infected with the virus as of April 16.
But while confirmed cases continued to climb, the occupancy of reserved COVID-19 hospital beds remained at low risk or below 20 percent.
Based on the latest DOH weekly bulletin, 12.3 percent of COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) beds and 17.4 percent of non-ICU beds were occupied.
The country’s official COVID-19 death toll, on the other hand, rose to 66,439 as the DOH confirmed 20 more deaths, most of which occurred in 2021.
Independent monitoring team OCTA Research, meanwhile, reported a hike in the positivity rate—or the percentage of those found positive for the virus among all who were tested—in Metro Manila and 13 provinces.
According to OCTA, 7.2 percent of COVID-19 tests in the National Capital Region turned out to be positive, above the 5-percent threshold recommended by the WHO, to show that transmission was under control.
The other provinces with a positivity rate above 5 percent were Misamis Oriental, 22.7 percent; Camarines Sur, 21.1 percent; Rizal, 20.2 percent; South Cotabato, 10 percent; Cebu, 9.7 percent; Cavite, 9.4 percent; Davao del Sur, 9.4 percent; Benguet, 8.9 percent; Isabela, 8.3 percent; Laguna, 7.9 percent; Negros Occidental, 7.5 percent; Zamboanga del Sur, 7 percent; and Pampanga, 5.3 percent.
Earlier, DOH officer in charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said the positivity rate was “just one of the indicators we use in assessing if there is a significant increase in cases.”
“When we compute (the positivity rate), the denominator is now smaller than before since there are fewer people getting tested. This results [in] higher positivity rates,” she added.
She also stressed that despite the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, there was no cause for concern as hospital admissions and critical cases remained at manageable levels.