THE Department of Health (DOH) reported more than 10,000 new cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) that brought the country’s total active cases to 39,974 (1.4 percent) as of 4 p.m. Wednesday, January 5, 2022.

This was the highest number of active cases recorded since November 2, 2021, when 40,786 active infections were logged.

The increase in active cases was attributed to 10,775 new infections recorded by the DOH in the last 24 hours that also brought the country’s total confirmed cases 2,871,745.

Of the active cases, 1,294 were considered asymptomatic, 33,866 were mild, 2,983 moderate, 1,512 severe and 319 critical.

The DOH said 10,688 of the new cases reported occurred within the past 14 days, from December 23 to January 5.

The National Capital Region remained as the region with the number of new infections in the recent two weeks, with 7,420 patients, followed by Calabarzon with 1,719 new cases and Central Luzon with 798 new cases.

The country’s positivity rate climbed to 31.7 percent from Tuesday’s (January 4, 2022) 26.5 percent, based on the 44,643 samples tested last January 3.

The DOH also recorded 605 new recoveries that raised the total number of people who have survived Covid-19 to 2,780,109, or 96.8 percent.

The death toll continued to increase with 58 new mortalities Wednesday. This means that the country now has 51,662 total Covid-19 deaths (1.80 percent).

The health department said that of the 58 new deaths, eight occurred in December 2021 (14 percent), eight in November 2021 (14 percent), 24 in October 2021 (41 percent), 15 in September 2021 (26 percent), and three in August 2021 (five percent.

These were reported only Wednesday, January 5, due to late encoding of death information to CovidKaya, it said.

“This issue is currently being coordinated with the Epidemiology and Surveillance Units to ensure information is up to date,” the DOH said.

The agency has also removed 39 duplicates from the total tally. Of these, 35 were tagged as recoveries.

At least 110 cases were also found to have tested negative for the virus and have been removed from the total case count. These were also tagged as recoveries.

Fifty-seven cases that were previously labeled as recoveries were reclassified as deaths.

The DOH said nine laboratories were not able to submit their output last January 3 and these contributed on average 2.2 percent of all samples tested and 5.3 percent of individuals who tested positive for the virus.

Health officials appealed to the public anew to observe the minimum public health standards and get vaccinated to prevent the further increase of Covid-19 cases.

Dr. Edsel Salvaña, a molecular epidemiologist from the University of the Philippines and a member of the Technical Advisory Group of the DOH, said Wednesday, January 5, that while many of those infected with the Omicron variant of Sars-CoV-2 have mild symptoms, there is still possibility that unvaccinated individuals will experience severe Covid-19.

The Philippines currently has 14 Omicron variant cases, and the DOH said Tuesday, January 4, that this strain may have already been circulating in communities.

“We expect na mabilis ang pagkalat nitong Omicron. Mukhang karamihan dito, lalo na sa mga nabakunahan na, ay mild (We expect a fast transmission, but most patients, especially those vaccinated, only have mild symptoms). So, we must continue our vaccination program and wear mask,” Salvaña said.

Data from the DOH showed that 85 percent of patients hospitalized for Covid-19 while 93 percent of those who succumbed to the disease were unvaccinated.

As of January 5, 27 percent of the intensive care unit (ICU) beds nationwide and 37 percent in the National Capital Region (NCR) were utilized.

As to the isolation beds, 31 percent nationwide and 39 in NCR have been used, while for ward beds, NCR has been using 45 percent of the available beds and 23 percent have been utilized nationwide.