THE PHILIPPINES posted fewer than 3,000 coronavirus infections for the third straight day on Wednesday, at 2,671.

This brought the total to 3.64 million, while the death toll reached 55,223 after 77 more patients died, the Department of Health (DoH) said in a bulletin. Recoveries rose by 6,130 to 3.52 million.

The agency said 9.6% of 25,629 samples on Feb. 14 tested positive for the coronavirus, still above the 5% threshold set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Of 68,829 active cases, 1,130 did not show symptoms, 63,037 were mild, 2,920 were moderate, 1,433 were severe and 209 were critical.

DoH said 98% of new cases occurred on Feb. 3 to 16. The top regions with cases in the past two weeks were Metro Manila with 622, Calabarzon with 323 and Western Visayas with 287 infections. It added that 42% of new deaths occurred in February and 21% in January.

Fourteen duplicates were removed from the tally, 12 of which were recoveries, while 62 recoveries were relisted as deaths. Six laboratories failed to submit data on Feb. 14.

“The positivity rate in the National Capital Region and Calabarzon continued to fall as all provinces had less than 10% positivity rate as of Feb. 15,” the OCTA Research Group said in a report.

It said Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, and Rizal were now at low risk from the coronavirus, while Batangas province was at moderate risk.

The Philippines is scrambling to vaccinate more people as it reopens the economy.

Citing its nationwide study, healthcare provider PhilCare said the country could reach its goal of injecting 72 million booster shots this year, with more than 59 million Filipinos now fully vaccinated.

In a statement, PhilCare said it’s study found that nine of 10 Filipinos (88.9%) agreed that getting vaccinated would protect themselves and others against the coronavirus.

“It also found that three of 10 respondents (34.7%) who have not been vaccinated yet intend to once vaccines are made available to them,” it said.

“With local governments setting up more and more convenient and accessible vaccination sites and credible vaccine information being made more available, we expect the number of Filipinos getting COVID-19 shots to grow this 2022,” PhilCare President and Chief Executive Officer Jaeger L. Tanco. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza