PH records only 25 more COVID-19 deaths due to late reporting, 379 new cases

MANILA – The Philippines on Friday recorded only 25 more COVID-19 related deaths due to late reporting of fatalities and 379 new infections, the third lowest daily tally so far this year, data from the health department showed. 

The number of new deaths brings the country’s total to 49,961, based on the latest Department of Health (DOH) bulletin. 

Of these new fatalities, only 5 occurred this month, while 6 happened last month, 7 in October, 5 in September, and 1 each in August, and July, the DOH said.

The late reporting of deaths is due to backlog as regional epidemiology surveillance units verify that these fatalities were caused by COVID-19, according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

She cited as an example those who died from vehicular accident injuries but tested positive for coronavirus when brought to a hospital. The DOH also has to verify the date of death as some reports submitted to it lack this information, Vergeire added.

“Especially nung tumaas ang mga kaso nung Agosto at Setyembre, dahil sa dami ng kaso, sa dami ng namatay, nagpeak po ang deaths natin yan, nagkaroon na po ng backlogs ang ating local governments,” she told reporters.

(Especially when cases increased last August and September, our deaths peaked and our local governments experienced backlogs.)

Of the total 2,836,200 cases, 11,905 or 0.4 percent were active infections, according to DOH data.

Some 631 more recoveries were also reported, raising the total number of recuperations to 2,774,334.

Six duplicates were removed from the total case count, including 5 recoveries, while 19 cases previously tagged as recuperations were reclassified as deaths after final validation, the DOH said.

It added that 169 cases, of which 164 are recoveries, were found to have tested negative and have been removed from the total case count.

The positivity rate was at 1.3 percent, based on samples of 35,903 individuals on Dec. 8, Wednesday. 

Four laboratories were non-operational on Wednesday, while 5 others were unable to submit their data, the DOH said. These 9 laboratories contribute on average 0.4 percent of samples tested and 0.5 percent of positive cases, it added.

The intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization rate in Metro Manila and nationwide was at 28 percent and 25 percent, respectively. 

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