The country’s active COVID-19 case count exceeded 200,000, the highest number of sick people in a day, according to the Department of Health’s Saturday bulletin.
The active case count is 22% of the total number of infections which stood at 926,052 after 11,101 new cases were recorded. At least 96% of the active cases have mild symptoms, 2.9% have no symptoms, 0.5% are in a severe state, 0.4% in critical condition, and 0.29% are moderate cases.
It is the second day in a row that the country logged a new record of active cases and the eighth time this month alone.
The total excludes data from nine laboratories that did not submit their reports on time, the department added.
Meanwhile, 72 more patients died, pushing the death toll to 15,810 or 1.71% of the case total. The recovery tally is 706,532 or 76.3% of the COVID-19 count, including 799 new survivors.
The DOH said it reclassified 16 survivors into fatalities after validation and deleted 20 duplicates, including eight recoveries.
The daily positivity rate dropped to 17.7% out of 43,574 tests administered as of noon of April 16. Positivity rate is the percentage of individuals that tested positive out of the people tested in a day.
The latest rate is slightly lower compared to the past few weeks. It peaked on April 2 at 25.2% and remained hovering over 20% until April 13. Johns Hopkins University warned that high percentages mean there may be high transmission and more undetected cases.
The OCTA Research team pointed out that the enhanced community quarantine, the country’s strictest form of lockdown imposed for two weeks from late March to early April, aided in controlling the surge of cases. Metro Manila and nearby provinces later eased into a more relaxed, modified quarantine but experts urged the public to continue the ECQ “mindset” to keep the gains.
Among Filipinos abroad, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed seven more infections, pushing the total to 18,141 in 91 countries. The death toll and survivor count stayed at 1,115 and 11,142, respectively.
Meanwhile, global COVID-19 deaths surpassed three million, Johns Hopkins data showed, while total infections neared 140 million.
Expect more surges
Former Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit said the recent surge in cases in the country will not be the last, since the pandemic could rage on possibly for a few more years.
“We will see more of these cases as we go, ” Dayrit told CNN Philippines’ Newsroom Weekend on Saturday. “We have to be used to the fact that there will be surges and we have to adapt to these surges as much as we can.”
Dayrit pointed out that measures are in place to control the spread of the virus but contact tracing is still weak. As to vaccination, he said the proposal to prioritize Metro Manila may erupt into a political issue if the government chooses to deprive other areas of the shots.
On treatment, the former health chief said the Food and Drug Administration should allow the antiparasitic drug ivermectin to be available to doctors, but the manufacturers themselves have maintained that there is still no basis to use the drug to treat COVID-19.