PH breaks record anew with 33,169 COVID-19 cases today

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 10) — The country’s total COVID-19 case count surged to nearly three million on Monday after the government reported a record high spike for the third consecutive day with 33,169 more infected.

It is the first time since the pandemic struck that new cases hit at least 30,000, beating Sunday’s 28,707.

This did not yet include data from 10 testing laboratories, according to the Department of Health. It said these laboratories contributed an average of 6.2% of all samples tested and 6.3% of all positive results over the last two weeks.

Of the added cases, the DOH noted 99% or 32,972 were detected within the last 14 days. The top three contributing regions are Metro Manila with 18,535; Calabarzon with 7,443; and Central Luzon with 3,403.

The latest bulletin showed the overall tally has jumped to 2,998,530, with 157,526 or 5.3% active cases. Of the currently sick, 147,912 experience mild symptoms; 4,994 have no symptoms; 2,858 are moderate cases; 1,461 are severe; and 301 are critical.

The DOH also listed a positivity rate of 46%, a new all-time high for the sixth day in a row. This is based on 73,234 tests reported on Jan. 8.

This positivity rate, which is the percentage of infected people out of all tested, is way above the World Health Organization’s benchmark of below 5%. It suggests insufficient testing and that there are likely more infected individuals who have gone undetected.

Meanwhile, the death toll rose to 52,293 after 145 more patients succumbed to COVID-19.

None of these newly reported fatalities occurred this month. The department said all were from the Davao Region and were encoded late, including three deaths that transpired in November; 18 in October; 52 in September; and 72 others in preceding months that go as far back as January 2021.

Another 3,725 recoveries, on the other hand, pushed the total to 2,788,711.

After final validation, the DOH reclassified as deaths 124 cases it previously tagged as survivors. It also removed 86 duplicate entries from its data, including 73 recoveries and two fatalities.

Command center feels rising numbers

According to Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega, the government’s One Hospital Command Center has been receiving more calls in recent days, compared to September during the peak of the Delta surge.

From around 550 to 600 calls a day during the previous wave of infections, Vega said the number of calls has climbed to over 800.

“Talagang tumaas na [It really rose], much more than the peak of last year. Umaabot na kami kahapon ng [Yesterday, we’re reaching] 825 calls a day,” he told CNN Philippines’ News.PH.

But he noted that the majority, or 57%, of calls were made by people looking for isolation facilities, which means they don't have severe or critical infection. Meanwhile, he said only 22% were trying to find hospitals — down from around 60% during the Delta wave.

“Ang napansin namin medyo tumaas ‘yung calls, tumaas ‘yung bilang, pero 'yung number of severe and critical cases ay nasa low-risk position pa,” he said.”

[Translation: What we noticed was that the number of calls rose, but the number of severe and critical cases were still in the low-risk position.]