THE Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, July 26, 2021, reported more than 6,000 new coronavirus infections for the third day in the last four days.
In its case bulletin, the DOH listed 6,664 new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), 23 additional deaths and 5,766 new recoveries.
Testing output was still relatively low, falling below 50,000 for the seventh consecutive day, as eight laboratories failed to submit their data to the Covid-19 Document Repository System on Saturday, July 24. The daily positivity rate was high at 13.4 percent.
The new infections brought the cumulative case count to 1,555,396. Twenty-three duplicates, including nine recoveries, were removed from the count.
The additional deaths, which included 17 cases that were previously tagged as recovered, raised the Covid-19 death toll to 27,247. The case fatality rate declined to 1.75 percent.
A total of 1,473,009 individuals have recovered from the infection, comprising 94.7 percent of the total count.
There remained 55,140 active cases in hospitals and isolation facilities.
In a press conference earlier Monday, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they saw a one-percent increase in cases in the recent two weeks from July 11 to 24 compared to the previous two weeks from June 27 to July 10.
Six regions posted trend reversals to a positive two-week growth rate. These are Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao and National Capital Region (NCR).
The Cordillera Administrative Region and Ilocos region have been posting positive two-week growth rates for six weeks now.
The DOH is also closely monitoring Northern Mindanao and Davao regions because of their high intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rates.
The national reproduction rate is 1.0059. DOH is monitoring 26 provinces with high average daily attack rates, and low to moderate two-week growth rates.
Vergeire said, however, that they do not rely on the reproduction rate, which she described as a lagging indicator, because it doesn't reflect the current Covid-19 situation.
The DOH uses the average daily attack rate and two-week growth rate as indicators in recommending the risk classification of an area.
"We're not saying that we are setting this aside. We still analyze the transmission rate. But this rate is affected by transmission factors," Vergeire said.
She said transmission factors include the presence of variants, compliance to minimum public health standards, contact rate and duration of infectiousness.
"The lower the compliance, the higher the transmission. The more variants there are, the higher transmission...More super spreader events, higher contact rate, more transmission," Vergeire added.
Delays in detecting and isolating a patient also affect the reproduction number. Ideally, the period within which a Covid-19 patient is detected and placed under isolation should be reduced to five days or less. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)