COVID-19 cases top 1.5 million

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The country's COVID-19 total cases exceeded 1.5 million on Saturday, the Department of Health reported. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 17) — The country's COVID-19 total cases exceeded 1.5 million on Saturday, the Department of Health reported.

The case bulletin stated that 6,040 more people caught the coronavirus, the first time that there were more than 6,000 cases in a day in over two weeks or after July 2. The total stood at 1,502,359. 

Of the case count, 3.1% or 47,257 are active cases or currently ill with 91.8% having mild symptoms, 2.7% severe, 2% without symptoms, 1.89% in moderate condition and 1.6% critical condition.

The death toll climbed to 26,598 or 1.77% of the COVID-19 tally after 122 more people died. It is the second day in a row this week that the daily casualty count surpassed a hundred.

The recovery number is 1,428,504 or 95.1% of the cases after 7,213 more people got better.

The DOH said it reclassified 74 survivors into fatalities after validation and deleted nine duplicate cases, including seven recoveries.

The total excluded data from three laboratories that failed to submit reports on time, the DOH said. These laboratories contributed an average of 2.7% of samples tested and 1.3% of positive individuals in the last 14 days, the agency added.

The daily positivity rate or percentage of people who tested positive stood at 10.7% based on 52,047 tests on July 15. According to Covid Act Now, an initiative developed with the Harvard Health Institute, an area would need a rate below 3% to say it has adequate testing. The OCTA research team uses Covid Act Now's criteria as reference for its recommendations.

Two days ago, OCTA flagged an increase in cases in Cebu and Lapu-Lapu cities, adding that the latter's reproduction number of 1.80 was "very high." Ideally, reproductive numbers should be one or less, as anything higher means there is still significant community transmission, medical experts said.

Mariveles in Bataan was tagged as "very high risk" while Davao City, Iloilo City, Baguio City, and Santa Rosa, Laguna were also high risk for COVID-19.

A health expert earlier urged to "rethink" small gatherings especially amid the detection of more cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant. The country has a total of 35 cases of the variant including local infections after 16 more were found on Friday.