The number of COVID-19 cases in the county topped 300,000 after 2,700 new infections were reported Saturday.

Case tally soared to 301,256 after another 2,747 new infections were confirmed by the Department of Health.

The DoH said 63,066 of these are active cases.

The country has the most number of infections in Southeast Asia and globally, the Philippines ranked 21st, World Health Organization COVID-19 dashboard showed.

Metro Manila had 1,115 newly reported cases, followed by Negros Occidental with 196, Cavite with 153, Laguna with 112, and Cebu 107.

The DoH also reported 88 more deaths, bringing the death toll to 5,284, and recoveries increased to 232,906 as 787 new patients recovered.

The cumulative count of cases might hit between 310,000 to 330,000 by the end of this month, according to a recent projection of a group of experts from the University of the Philippines.

In a press briefing last Sept. 16, the DoH attributed the continued spike of cases to expanded protocol for testing, efficient contact tracing, and community transmission.

The Health department claimed last Aug. 6 that the Philippines ranked first in COVID-19 testing capacity in Southeast Asia.

At present, there are 134 licensed COVID-19 laboratories nationwide that already tested more than three million individuals.

Despite the increasing number of infections, DoH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the utilization of critical care facilities in hospitals in Metro Manila is declining.

Vergeire said that critical care utilization rate refers to the use of intensive care units, isolation rooms, ward, and ventilator facilities that are dedicated for COVID-19.

Last August, the critical care utilization rate in Metro Manila reached 81 percent but now it is already “down,” said Vergeire.

“The ICU bed utilization is just at 63 percent and for ward beds and isolation beds it is just about 53 percent,” said the DoH spokesperson.

“So, nakita po natin yung slow na pagde-decongest natin ang ating mga facilities. Nakita po natin na mas nagkaroon na ng kapasidad ang ating healthcare system para maka accomodate ng mga pasyenteng nangangailangan (So, we are seeing that slowly we are now decongesting our facilities. We have seen that our healthcare system has more capacity to accommodate patients in need),” she added.

However, the public should not be complacent amid these improvements.

“Let us not be complacent becasue we are hearing na gumaganda ang ating healthcare system capacity… Patuloy po tayo na sumunod sa ating protocols for health para tayo ay makaiwas na maging infected at ma-proteksyunan natin ang ating pamilya (Let us not be complacent just because we are hearing that our healthcare system capacity is improving…Continue to follow our health protocols to avoid being infected and to protect our family),” she said.