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PHL records lowest COVID daily tally since May 2020

A MINOR, accompanied by an elderly relative, gets a coronavirus jab at a shopping mall in Metro Manila. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

THE PHILIPPINES on Sunday reported the lowest number of daily coronavirus infections in nearly 19 months after a number of laboratories failed to submit data on Dec. 17 as one of the world’s strongest typhoons this year devastated many parts of the country.

The country posted 203 cases on Monday —  the lowest since May 23, 2020 when 180 cases were reported — bringing the total to 2.84 million.

The death toll hit 50,739 after 64 more patients died, while recoveries increased by 395 to 2.78 million, the Department of Health said in a bulletin.

There were 9,729 active cases, 485 of which did not show symptoms, 3,685 were mild, 3,379 were moderate, 1,800 were severe, and 380 were critical.

The agency said 92% of the reported cases occurred from Dec. 6 to 19.

The top regions with cases in the recent two weeks were Metro Manila with 48, Calabarzon with 37, and Western Visayas with 22.

DoH said 3% of the reported deaths occurred in December, 28% in November, 45% in October, 16% in September, 6% in August, and 2% in April.

The Health department said 22% of intensive care units in the Philippines were occupied, while the rate for Metro Manila was 23%.

It said two duplicates were removed from the tally, one of which was reclassified as recovery, while 62 recoveries were relisted as deaths.

It added that 179 patients had tested negative and were removed from the tally.

Sunday’s low case report was due to the suspension of the operations of four laboratories on Dec. 17 and failure of 41 laboratories to submit data because of typhoon Rai, locally known as Odette.

“Based on data in the last 14 days, the 45 (laboratories) contribute, on average, 15.4% of samples tested and 1.8% of positive individuals,” the Health department said.

Health experts have been urging the government to boost its virus containment measures as the country faces the threat of the highly mutated Omicron variant and a possible surge due to holiday gatherings.

The country’s second round of a nationwide mass vaccination campaign last week was affected by the typhoon as areas in the storm’s path had to cancel planned inoculation activities. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza