COVID-19 cases have gone up by more than half in the last seven days, while the number of patients with serious conditions has also increased, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.
From June 20 to 26, the country recorded 4,634 new COVID-19 cases, or an average of 662 per day, the DOH said in its latest bulletin. This was 53 percent higher than the 3,051 infections logged from June 13 to 19.
Out of the latest weekly tally of infections, 14 were severe and critical.
As of Sunday, a total of 591 or 10.7 percent of COVID-19 patients in hospitals were in severe and critical condition.
The number is higher than the previous week’s 554 severe and critical patients, who comprised 10.2 percent of COVID-19 hospital admissions at the time.
Some 391 or 14.9 percent of 2,628 intensive care unit (ICU) beds for COVID-19 patients were occupied as of Sunday, the DOH said.
During the past week, the DOH said there were 51 COVID-related fatalities.
Independent researchers said the positivity rate for COVID-19 has increased to almost 6 percent.
The OCTA Research Group said the NCR’s positivity rate—or the percentage of those tested for COVID-19 who are found to be positive—rose to 5.9 percent as of June 25 from a positivity rate of 3.9 percent as of June 18.
NCR’s positivity rate was recorded at 5.6 percent as of June 22.
OCTA fellow Guido David noted that the World Health Organization recommends a positivity rate of under 5 percent.
Data also showed that the positivity rate in Rizal jumped to 11.9 percent from 6.3 percent.
Laguna rose to 7.5 percent from 3.1 percent, Cavite to 6 percent from 3.6 percent, and South Cotabato to 7.4 percent from 6.3 percent.
Batangas, Benguet, Bulacan, Cagayan, Cebu, Iloilo, and Pampanga also recorded an increase in their COVID-19 positivity rates, OCTA said.
The Philippines logged some 848 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, the highest daily tally since March 6, or in over three months, data from the DOH said.
As of Sunday, the number of people currently positive for the coronavirus stood at 6,761, the DOH reported.
The country’s total confirmed cases climbed to 3,700,876.
Of the additional cases reported during the day, 397 are from Metro Manila, the DOH said.
The national positivity rate from June 19 to 25 was at 4.9 percent, higher than the 3.1 percent recorded the previous week.
DOH data also showed that the total number of COVID-related deaths in the country has reached 60,518 after 11 new deaths were confirmed.
Total recoveries, meanwhile, stood at 3,633,597.
From June 13 to 19, the country recorded an average of 436 cases per day.
The tally was 82 percent higher than infections from June 6 to 12, the agency said.
This is the highest number of cases logged in a single week in 13 weeks, or since the week of March 14 to 20 when 3,481 cases were reported.
Earlier, the DOH warned that active cases could reach 7,500 by the second half of July if compliance with minimum health protocols declines and booster uptake remains low.
The Philippine Genome Center has detected 16 more cases of highly transmissible Omicron subvariants BA.5 and BA.2.12.1, the DOH had said.
More than 70 million people in the Philippines have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said.
Metro Manila and dozens of other areas will stay under COVID-19 Alert Level 1 until the end of June, Malacañang said, even as the NCR recorded a rise in new infections.
Under Alert 1, all indoor establishments and public transport may operate at 100 percent capacity, but only for those with full vaccination status.
The government had continued to remind the public to follow minimum health protocols, especially wearing face masks.
The Philippine College of Physicians backed this view and opposed moves to make the use of masks voluntary, saying they would protect the public against COVID-19.
The group issued a statement after Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said last week that he would recommend the extension of the mandatory use of face masks as COVID-19 cases are on the rise again.
Duque said face masks can also help prevent other illnesses such as influenza, bacterial pneumonia, monkeypox, and asthma.
Also on Monday, the presidential adviser on entrepreneurship, Joey Concepcion, urged the incoming administration to craft a new set of public health protocols to guide the public as the health emergency moves into an endemic phase.
He reminded the government that only 60 days remain before the EO on the state of public health emergency expires in September.
“We have to discuss what are the new protocols when the state of public emergency is lifted. To me, there are only two protocols that should stay—face masks and vaccination. The washing of hands and social distancing, I think every Filipino knows that already,” he said.