NEW coronavirus infections in the Philippines are steadily rising, with the Department of Health (DOH) reporting more than 3,000 cases for the third consecutive day on Sunday, March 7, 2021.
The 3,276 new cases on Sunday brought the total number of cases in the first week of March to 18,099, or a daily average of more than 2,585, the highest seven-day moving average for the year so far.
These brought the cumulative case count in the country to 594,412.
The DOH case bulletin at 4 p.m. Sunday also reported 51 additional mortalities from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), raising the death toll to 12,516. The case fatality rate was steady at 2.11 percent.
There was a mass recovery of 10,516, which increased the total recoveries to 545,853 and reduced the number of active cases in hospitals and isolation facilities to 36,043.
A mass recovery is reported every Sunday based on the DOH’s time-based recovery scheme which declares coronavirus-positive individuals without symptoms for at least 14 consecutive days as recoveries.
The positivity rate remained elevated at 9.2 percent for the 24-hour period ending noon of March 6, as 2,817 out of 30,613 samples tested positive for Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
As cases continued to rise, the UP Philippine General Hospital announced Saturday that its outpatient department was suspending walk-in consultations as a precaution against Covid-19 transmission.
As of March 6, PGH has limited emergency room consultations and admissions of non-Covid patients to life/limb threatening emergency conditions, pregnant with imminent delivery and trauma.
St. Luke’s Medical Center, meanwhile, clarified that it has available ward and intensive care unit (ICU) beds for Covid-19 patients despite the rising admissions, contrary to information being circulated online.
“We would like to inform everyone that as of March 6, 2021, our Covid-19 ICU and wards still have not reached full capacity although we have noted an increase in the number of Covid-19 admissions these past several days,” the hospital said in an advisory issued Saturday.
“The cases that we are treating remain at manageable levels, ensuring that all our Covid-19 patients will get quality care,” it added.
Cases of infection have been on the rise since late February, as indicated by a steady increase in the seven-day moving average, which was only a little more than 1,000 at the start of the year, but breached 2,000 in the week from February 20 to 26.
Based on the DOH national tracker, Cebu City continued to post the highest 14-day rolling total with 2,277 new cases in the last 14 days to March 6.
It was followed by Quezon City (1,996), Pasay City (1,768), Manila (1,634) and Cebu Provinces (1,220). Three cities - Quezon, Pasay and Manila - are in Metro Manila, or the National Capital Region (NCR).
Among the regions, the NCR continued to post the highest number of new cases with 11,606 in the last 14 days to March 6, followed by Central Visayas (5,099), Calabarzon (2,919), Central Luzon (1,959) and Cordillera (1,488).
Globally, around 116.5 million people have been infected as of 2 p.m. Sunday, with nearly 2.6 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
After staying in the 31st slot for several weeks, the Philippines rose to 30th among countries with the highest cumulative cases. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)