DOH lists 23,134 new COVID-19 cases, the second highest single-day tally

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The country marked another grim milestone with the second highest number of new one-day COVID-19 infections of 23,134 logged on Saturday, the Department of Health has announced. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 18) — The country marked another grim milestone with the second highest number of new one-day COVID-19 infections of 23,134 logged on Saturday, the Department of Health has announced.

It's also the third day in a row that over 20,000 daily new cases were recorded.

The DOH has now counted a total of 2,347,550 infections in the country, with 7.8% or 184,088 active cases or currently sick patients on Saturday.

The death toll also climbed to 36,583 — which is 1.56% of the case count — after 255 more people lost their lives to the virus. This marks the fifth straight day that daily fatalities were more than 200.

Meanwhile, 27,024 others got better, raising the recovery number to 2,126,879 or 90.6% of the COVID-19 count.

The DOH said it reclassified 143 survivors into deaths after validation and deleted 59 duplicate cases, including 41 recoveries.

The total excludes data from two laboratories that failed to submit their reports on time, the agency added. These laboratories contributed an average of 0.3% of tested samples and 0.5% of positive individuals in the last 14 days.

The positivity rate - or percentage of tested people who yielded positive results - dropped from 26.7% based on tests reported on September 15 to 26% based on 73,635 tests reported on September 16. A rate of above 20% is at critical level while a rate of below 3% indicates there is adequate testing, according to US nonprofit Covid Act Now.

For its part, the World Health Organization says a positivity rate below 5% means the area has controlled the infection.

The DOH said the COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region have not yet peaked, despite OCTA Research fellow Guido David saying there have been indications showing otherwise. However, David also cautioned that they need to wait "a few more days to make sure" if indeed the infections have reached their peak.

Health Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire also tagged the following regions as under high risk for COVID-19: Metro Manila, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Cordillera Administrative Region, Calabarzon, Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Caraga, and Soccsksargen.