DOH logs new highest daily tally of COVID-19 cases with 19,441

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The country again broke its record for the highest number of new COVID-19 cases tallied in a day after the Department of Health reported 19,441 infections on Saturday. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 28) — The country again broke its record for the highest number of new COVID-19 cases tallied in a day after the Department of Health reported 19,441 infections on Saturday.

It's the third time the country recorded new highest single-day tallies this month alone. The last time was just five days ago on August 23 when there were over 18,000 new cases.

The DOH's latest bulletin counted 1,935,700 infections in total with 7.4% or 142,679 active cases or people currently ill.

At least 95.5% of active cases have mild symptoms, 1.8% are asymptomatic, 1.1% have severe symptoms, 0.99% are in moderate condition, and 0.6% are in critical condition.

The death toll also jumped to over 33,000, at 33,008 - which is 1.71% of the COVID-19 total - after 167 more people lost their lives to the disease. Meanwhile, 19,191 others recovered, bringing the survivor count to 1,760,013 - or 90.9% of the nationwide tally.

The DOH said it reclassified 76 survivors into deaths after validation, and deleted 202 duplicates, including 191 recoveries.

The total excludes data from three laboratories that failed to submit their reports on time, the DOH added. These laboratories contributed an average of 1.3% of tested samples and 0.2% of positive individuals in the last 14 days.

The positivity rate - or percentage of tested people with positive results - also rose to a new record-high of 27.5% based on 71,620 tests reported on August 26. The rate has remained within critical level or above 20% for 20 days straight, which calls for more testing.

According to US nonprofit Covid Act Now - which the OCTA Research group uses for reference - an area has sufficient coronavirus testing efforts if it has a positivity rate of below 3%.

The World Health Organization set the standard positivity rate to below 5% to say the infection in an area is under control.

Metro Manila

OCTA research fellow Guido David said he is "starting to get really concerned" by the numbers. He surmised that the reproduction number - or the number of people infected by a single case - in Metro Manila may increase again due to a spike in its positivity rate.

"The positivity rate has suddenly spiked after being stable for sometime," said David in a tweet. "If the spike in positivity rate does not continue, then we could still be on track for our original projections. Otherwise, this will last longer than we thought, or hoped for."

A few days ago, the OCTA team had just reported lower growth and reproduction figures in the National Capital Region and projected a drop in infections in the area by September. 

On Saturday, the national government also announced that Metro Manila will remain under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until September 7.

Also under MECQ are Apayao, Ilocos Norte, Bulacan, Bataan, Cavite, Lucena City, Rizal, Laguna, Aklan, Iloilo Province, Iloilo City, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu City, Mandaue City, and Cagayan de Oro City.

Metro Manila had the highest tally of new infections in the past 14 days with 48,469, followed by Calabarzon with 37,940, and Central Luzon with 22,708, based on DOH data as of August 27

Cavite was the top province with the most new cases in the same period with 15,355, followed by Laguna with 10,626, and Bulacan with 9,445.