PH logs new all-time high of nearly 10,000 single-day rise in COVID-19 cases

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

With nearly 10,000 new COVID-19 infections logged on Friday, the country recorded an all-time high for the fifth time in a week, according to the Department of Health's case bulletin.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 26) — With nearly 10,000 new COVID-19 infections logged on Friday, the country recorded an all-time high for the fifth time in a week, according to the Department of Health's case bulletin.

The country first broke its all-time high on March 19 with over 7,000 new infections that day.

The DOH said there were 9,838 new cases, pushing the total to 702,856. Of this number, 15.5% or 109,018 are active cases, also a new record for the highest number of currently ill patients. At least 95.1% of the active cases have mild symptoms, 3% have no symptoms, 0.7% are in critical condition, 0.8% are severe cases and 0.42% are in moderate condition.

The death toll rose to 13,149 or 1.87% of the case count after 54 more patients died. Meanwhile, 663 others got better, raising the recovery count to 580,689 or 82.6% of the COVID-19 tally.

The DOH said it reclassified 22 survivors into fatalities after validation and removed 29 duplicates, including 14 recoveries. One case that was negative for the coronavirus was also removed from the count.

Among Filipinos abroad, the Department of Foreign Affairs reported 27 new cases, with the total now at 16,067 in 90 countries. Of this total, 3,855 cases have been verified by the DOH, the DFA said. There were 16 patients that recovered while no new fatalities were recorded. The survivor count is 9,738 and the death toll is 1,047, with 5,282 people undergoing treatment.

Positivity rate

The bulletin also posted a positivity rate of 17.3% based on data as of noon of March 25. Positivity rate is the percentage of positive individuals out of all patients tested in a day. The new rate is high since the World Health Organization recommended that the figure should be kept below 5%.

A higher percentage suggests more widespread transmission and that there are likely more cases which have not yet been detected, according to Johns Hopkins University. However, the DOH will still update the rate as seven testing laboratories have yet to submit their data.

The DOH said there were 32,069 patients recently tested, which means that approximately 5,547 people were positive. The department did not include the exact number of positive individuals unlike in previous bulletins.

The department's COVID-19 tracker also gave an updated positivity rate for March 24 at 17.8%, the highest after April 18 last year, when the figure was at 18%. Out of 44,451 people tested, there were 7,921 that were positive.

Where did we go wrong?

Pediatric infectious diseases expert Dr. Anna Ong-Lim said other countries were able to curb the spread of the coronavirus because of their effective contact tracing systems.

She related that the initial plan for the country at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak last year, was to trace at least 37 contacts per individual case but this proved to be difficult. The focus right now should be limiting the people's movement while addressing the gaps in response, Ong-Lim added.

"If there will be some kind of tighter community quarantine imposition, then this has to be tied together with actions that would really resolve the gaps so we don't have to do this once more," she told CNN Philippines' The Final Word.

Amid proposals to abolish the Inter-Agency Task Force, Ong-Lim pointed out that the body was able to get inputs from the health and economic sectors in their decisions, but she stressed the need for coordination.