AS EXPECTED, new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) fell to over 12,000 on Tuesday, August 24, 2021, as testing output dropped by around 20,000 with 10 laboratories failing to submit their data.

The country’s Covid-19 death toll, however, surged past 32,000 just four days after crossing 31,000. A total of 1,066 deaths were reported from August 21 to 24, or an average of 266 a day.

In its case bulletin Tuesday, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 12,067 new cases, 303 deaths and 14,565 recoveries.

The daily positivity rate remained at 24.9 percent, translating to one positive result for every four tests conducted. However, only 45,593 tests were conducted on August 22, about 20,000 lower than the estimated 65,000 tests a day from August 18 to 21.

Ten laboratories did not report their testing output to the Covid-19 Document Repository System on August 22, a Sunday. These laboratories accounted for 4.4 percent of positive test results a day in the last 14 days.

The new cases brought the cumulative case count to 1,869,691, after the removal of 22 duplicates.

The additional deaths, which included 161 cases that were initially tagged as recoveries, raised the Covid-19 death toll to 32,264. The case fatality rate went up again to 1.73 percent.

Including the 14,565 new recoveries, the total number of individuals who have recovered from infection increased to 1,709,724.

The active cases, meanwhile, declined to 127,703, of which 0.6 percent were critical, 1.2 percent were severe, 0.93 percent were moderate, 95.5 percent were mild and 1.7 percent were asymptomatic.

Highest in Asean

Confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country soared to a record high 18,332 on August 23, the highest in Southeast Asia on that day.

Indonesia, which was ravaged by the Delta variant of Sars-CoV-2, reported 9,604 cases on Monday, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker.

Thailand and Malaysia, which are also experiencing a surge, recorded 17,491 and 17,672, respectively, while Vietnam listed 11,214 cases and Myanmar had 2,173.

The rest of Southeast Asia had less than 500 cases on August 23, with Singapore reporting only 98 new infections.

This fresh wave of infections in the Philippines are believed to be driven by the highly contagious Delta variant (B.1.617.2) as well as the Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Beta (B.1.351) variants.

As of August 21, the University of the Philippines Philippine Genome Center has detected a total of 1,273 Delta variant cases, 2,322 Alpha cases and 2,588 Beta cases out of the 11,919 samples sequenced.

Of these case, 26 had died from Delta, 128 from Alpha and 95 from Beta. There remained 22 active Delta cases, 20 active Alpha and 15 active Beta.

The DOH on Monday confirmed community transmission of the Delta variant in Calabarzon and National Capital Region, the most populous regions with 16.1 million and 13.4 million people, respectively.

The DOH is assuming community transmission in the 12 other regions where the Delta variant has been detected. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)