MANILA, Mar 24 (Mabuhay) — The Philippines’ tally of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases rose to 677,653 on Tuesday after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 5,867 new infections as nine laboratories failed to submit data on time.

According to the DOH, this also brought the total active cases in the country to 86,200, this year’s highest.

Of this, 95.4 percent are mild, 2.3 percent are asymptomatic, 0.9 percent are severe, and 0.9 percent are in critical condition.

Meanwhile, total recoveries climbed to 578,461 with 620 new ones while 20 more fatalities brought the death toll to 12,992.

Six duplicate cases were removed from the total case count.

“Moreover, 8 cases that were previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation,” the DOH said.

Data from the DOH also showed that 69 percent of the country’s intensive care unit beds are available while 50 percent of the mechanical ventilators are ready for use.

On Monday, the Philippines reported its highest daily increase with 8,019 infections, the first time that more than 8,000 cases were reported in the country.

Earlier, the Health Department said that at least 78 percent of isolation facilities in the National Capital Region are already occupied.

The government has placed Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, dubbed as the ‘NCR Plus’ bubble, under a stricter community quarantine bubble for two weeks amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.

However, the OCTA Research group said that the stricter restrictions placed over the ‘NCR Plus’ bubble are unlikely to bring down the reproduction number of the coronavirus to 1 within two weeks.(MNS)

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