Department of Health office in Palo, Leyte (File photo)

TACLOBAN CITY – Eastern Visayas posted the highest positivity rate of new Covid-19 cases at 57 percent on Monday as new cases continue to rise since last week, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

Of the 610 samples examined by two laboratories in the region, 346 turned positive for Covid-19 or a positivity rate of 57 percent, the highest recorded since the pandemic broke out early 2020, DOH regional information officer Jelyn Lopez-Malibago said.

“That means that 57 out of every 100 samples tested are positive for Covid-19. The number of cases has been going up since we cater all requests for testing such as those people with symptoms, closes contacts, and those admitted in hospitals due to other illnesses,” Malibago said in a message sent to the Philippine News Agency on Monday.

Positivity rate has been rising in the past few days, from 44 percent on January 12 to 46 percent on January 13; 47 percent on January 14; 50 percent on January 15; and 56 percent on January 16.

In terms of cases, the health department has been registering an increase in cases from 318 on January 12 to 449 on January 13; 450 on January 14; 543 on January 15; and 536 on January 16.

It was on January 8 that the region first recorded over 100 cases after more than two months of case drop, Malibago said.

Despite a spike in cases, the DOH could not confirm if this is triggered by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus since they are still waiting for confirmation from the Philippine Genome Center in Manila.

Since early January, the DOH has sent over 100 samples for genome sequencing to detect the presence of variants of concern.

As of Jan. 17, 2022, Eastern Visayas has recorded 54,767 confirmed Covid-19 cases, including 51,259 recoveries, and 631 deaths. This brings the total active cases to 2,876 or 5.25 percent of the total. (PNA)