COVID-19 death toll exceeds 22,000

By CNN Philippines Staff

The country’s COVID-19 fatality count rose to 22,064 or 1.72% of total cases on Tuesday after 95 more people lost their lives to the disease, the Department of Health reported.

The nationwide tally of cases also climbed to 1,280,773, with 4,777 more people infected.

Of this total, 4.4% or 56,452 are active or sick patients with 93.2% experiencing mild symptoms, 2.5% without symptoms, 1.7% with severe symptoms, 1.3% in critical condition and 1.19% in moderate condition.

The number of recoveries increased to 1,202,257, or 93.9% of the case count, after 7,122 more people were cleared of the coronavirus.

The total excludes data from 10 laboratories that failed to submit their reports on time, the DOH said. These laboratories contributed 2.7% of samples tested and 2.9% of positive individuals in the last 14 days.

The DOH added that 40 survivors were reclassified as fatalities and eight duplicates were removed, including six recoveries.

The daily positivity rate or the percentage of patients that tested positive rose to 14.3%, the first time it surpassed 14% since May 5. But it was based on only 29,125 tests done as of June 6.

Previous rates were based on test numbers above at least 30,000, with some even above 50,000. Experts said high rates mean more undetected cases and possibly high transmission. The World Health Organization’s recommended rate is below 5%.

The OCTA research team said the current numbers reflect the spread of the COVID-19 variants to areas outside Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite, or NCR Plus. OCTA fellow Fr. Nicanor Austriaco said the spread could be attributed to stranded individuals returning to their home provinces from Metro Manila while carrying the coronavirus with them, as well as some super spreader events.

Meanwhile, the situation in NCR Plus continues to improve.

“NCR Plus numbers are at a low and we are actually attaining levels of daily cases that resemble the period right before the surge,” Austriaco told CNN Philippines’ News.PH. “In NCR Plus, we are recovering from the surge.”

NCR Plus first experienced a new surge this year in March when cases reached a new record high of over 7,000 infections in a day, which eventually ballooned to more than 15,000 in April. The spike prompted the national government to temporarily revert to the strictest form of quarantine.

Experts and government officials are hopeful the country could see a “normal” Christmas this year as they hope to reach herd immunity before the holidays.

“Our plan and our hope and our prayer is that we will have a normal Christmas,” Austriaco said. “It’s possible. It depends if all Filipinos decide that it is something we want bad enough that we will all get vaccinated.”

The government chose to prioritze NCR Plus in the vaccination. OCTA said the effects of the vaccine on NCR Plus may be seen by October.

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