By RICHA NORIEGA, GMA News
Published December 29, 2021 4:00pm
Updated December 29, 2021 4:11pm
The Philippines on Wednesday logged 889 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 2,839,790.
Based on the Department of Health’s (DOH) latest bulletin, the new cases brought the country’s active case count to 10,418, of whom 536 are asymptomatic, 4,384 are mild, 3,346 are moderate, 1,778 are severe, and 374 are in critical condition.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said COVID-19 cases are expected to increase due to the recent holiday festivities and reduced compliance to the minimum public health protocols.
“We are continuously monitoring the situation, though we cannot still be certain that the increase in cases is due to the Omicron variant,” Vergeire told the reporters.
However, independent research firm Octa–which on Tuesday reported that the daily positivity rate in the National Capital Region exceeded 5% as of Monday, the first time it has done so since late October–warned that the spike could be more than just “a holiday uptick.”
“I think we should be concerned about this. It is possible that the increase is being driven by Omicron,” Dr. Guido David told GMA News’ Joseph Morong.
The significant increase comes amid the DOH’s earlier announcement that it would no longer post daily COVID-19 bulletins starting January 1, and that the data would instead be available on the DOH website.
The DOH said the top regions with most cases in the recent two weeks were the National Capital Region (NCR) with 564 cases or 65%, followed by Region 4-A with 86 cases or 10% and Region 3 with 53 cases or 6%.
Meanwhile, at least 214 more patients recovered from the viral disease, adding the total to 2,778,131.
The death toll rose to 51,214 with 28 new fatalities.
The country’s COVID-19 positivity rate was at 4.5%, which is higher than the 2.6% positivity rate on Tuesday. The total conducted COVID-19 tests were at 27,615.
The latest data also showed that 20% of 3,500 intensive care unit (ICU) beds for COVID-19 patients nationwide are in use.
At least 11% of the 12,200 ward beds in the country were utilized, while 17% of the 3,700 ward beds in the NCR were in use.
Based on the report, the DOH said two laboratories were not operational since December 27, while there was one laboratory that failed to submit data to the COVID-19 Document Repository System.
The health department reported 16 duplicates were removed from the total case count. Of these, 13 are recoveries.
In addition, at least 25 cases that were previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation. — BM, GMA News