Another 6K plus cases for Saturday 05.15.2021

The Philippine Health Agency reports 6,739 new cases, which is a tad lower than the 6,784 cases yesterday. This brings to 5% our active cases (56,709) with close to 9,000 recoveries today. The positivity rate for May 13 stood at 12.9% with over 52,000 tests that were run.

With 93 new deaths, the death toll for COVID19 in the country now exceeds 19,000 with a case fatality ratio for outcomes at 1.76 percent. Utilization of ICU beds is at 63% today.

The OCTA Research releases its monitoring report for COVID-19 showing the decline in new cases per day for Mega Manila as compared to the surge that began in March. The average new cases per day has declined by 30% to 1,644 over the past week. Rt is 0.57 with a positivity rate at 12%. Note that based on risk classification (average daily attack rate) of the DoH where >10 per 100,000 is considered high risk, there is a shift to moderate risk (which is good news) in four cities – Navotas, Malabon, Manila and Caloocan. The others remain at high risk.

Another 6k day on a Friday 05.14.2021

As the weekend draws near the Health Agency reports a 6,784 new cases today and with fewer recoveries, the positive cases are close to 60,000 (5.2%). Today’s cases are based on positivity rate of 13.1% for May 14. Just a fair reminder that cases above the 6,000 number will make any country land in the top 20 countries with the most cases in the WORLD.

With 137 new deaths, the case fatality ratio of those with outcomes is up at 1.77%. The total number of deaths now stands close to 19,000 as the total number of COVID-19 cases is at 1.13 million.

The National Capital Region contributed to 1/4 of the total cases for the day with 1,697 new cases. CALABARZON was in second with 1,325 and Central Luzon in third with 976 new cases. Together, these three regions continue to commit around 60 percent of the total daily cases for the Philippines.

While there is daily inconsistency among cities in Mega Manila brings in the most cases, Quezon City is solid in its daily numbers as it continued to lead both regionally and nationally in number of new cases. Eleven of 17 LGUs in the NCR are among the top twenty cities with most cases for the day.

Four provinces are back in the top of the heap among provinces in one region alone – Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Rizal.

Resbak Thursday with 6K plus cases on 05.13.2021

Thursdays to Monday data give us, more or less, a more accurate picture of what the actual daily averages of the new cases are in the Philippines. The Health Agency announced 6,385 new cases (with a 7-day moving average of 6,500/day). This is based on 13.6 positivity rate last May 11.

With new deaths at 107 for today and a little more than 4,200 recoveries reported, the current case fatality ratio based on outcomes is steady at 1.76 percent. Intensive care unit utilization is lower at 64 percent with many of the hospitals seeing a tad fewer cases. Note, however, that severe and critical patients will take time to recover and will continue to fill ICU beds in the meantime.

With other sectors calling to move into a less strict quarantine because the cases in Mega Manila are now less than 2,000 per day for the past week, it is important to emphasize that those living in the areas with highest cases (epicenters) should be encouraged to take advantage of the COVID-19 vaccines that are now available. With a slight lowering of cases, this is the opportune time for the government to rapidly roll out the immunization campaign – even if it has to go to the extent of working 7 days a week and 24 hours a day – in order to sustain the gains made during the last 2 months of stricter lockdown.

NCR contributed to more than 1/4 of the total cases in the country with 1,608 new cases and the only region reporting quadruple digits. However, ALL OTHER REGIONS reported triple digits except for MIMAROPA, a first since the beginning of the pandemic and a pattern which was not even present during the first surge.

In NCR, Quezon City continued to lead among cities with most cases both on a regional and national level. However, for today, it only accounted for 19 percent of the total cases in Mega Manila. Caloocan City came in second for the day. Twelve of 17 LGUs in NCR were among the top twenty cities with most cases.

On a provincial level, Pampanga was the top contributor to most cases for the day, followed by Isabela and Bulacan.

So here’s the run down on the immunization status of all ASEAN member states. The most important thing to remember is how many million shots have been given, but as to how many doses have been administered PER CAPITA (each country have different populations so it should be computed per 100,000 population) and the percentage of population FULLY vaccinated is vital.

LGUs outside of NCR are seeing increasing cases and the data for 05.12.2021

The Health Agency continued to report less than 5,000 new cases today. Most likely, NCR will continue the trend of accounting for less than 25% of the total cases in the country.

With more than 8300 recoveries noted, the active cases are a little above 53,000 or 4.8% of the total cases in the country. Positivity rate is at 12.5% for May 10, reported today May 12. With 94 new deaths, this brings the case fatality ratio for outcomes (recoveries and deaths) steady at 1.76%.

The number of cases in the NCR are stable at around the 1,200+ for the last two days (but they were due to low cases on Tuesdays and Wednesdays). CALABARZON and Central Luzon are second and third, as expected.

In NCR, Quezon City and the City of Manila were the only cities that saw triple digits. While the rest of the LGUs had double digits, note that eleven of 17 LGUs were among the top twenty cities with most cases for the day.

On a provincial level, note that four provinces in the CALABARZON region were ranked first to fourth, with Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Rizal hauling the cases for the day.

The OCTA Monitoring Report for May 12, 2021 focuses on the LGUs outside of the National Capital Region with the most cases. The report is published in full below. Notice those with increasing numbers are: Zamboanga City and Puerto Princesa. Those with increasing average daily attack rates (ADAR) are: Baguio City, Tuguegarao, and Puerto Princesa.

Low day Tuesday brings less than 5K on 05.11.2021

For the first time in quite awhile, the total cases in the country dips to less than 5,000 with the Health Agency reporting 4,734 new cases. The positivity rate for May 9 is also down to 12.2% and this continued decline is welcome news as the sad news of the Indian variants being reported in 2 Filipino overseas foreign workers.

With 7,837 additional recoveries, the active cases is down to a tad above 5%. New deaths reported today is 59, bringing the case fatality ratio of outcomes lower at 1.76%.

There were just a little over 1,200 cases for the NCR in Tuesday’s low case output with NCR accounting for one-fourth (25%) of the total cases in the country. This was followed by CALABARZON and Central Luzon. These three regions alone contributed to a little more than half (55%) of the total cases in the Philippines for the day.

In NCR, Quezon City continued to lead with almost 40% of the total cases coming from this city alone. Two other cities recorded triple digits – Manila and Caloocan. Eleven of 17 LGUs in NCR were among the top 20 cities with most cases.

Cavite, Zamboanga del Sur, and Negros Occidental led the haul on a provincial level.

Here is a summary recap from the OCTA Research on the effect of the ECQ and MECQ during this second surge. While it is true that the second surge had greatly affected economic revival and various scales of economies, it was needed to save life. The number of ICU bed occupancy is significantly higher now in spite of the lower cases and better numbers because patients admitted into intensive care units have longer recovery periods.

Rt down to 0.66 in NCR as cases continue to decline to <2K/day on 05.10.2021

The deal is that today is a Monday. As trends go, the weekend data will usually tell us how the week will go. And with 6,846 new cases announced by the Health Agency today, we will most likely touch the 5000-6000 range for cases on Tuesday and Wednesday. While the decline is slow, it is appreciable as the country ramps up with the vaccines particularly in the NCR plus bubble. This most likely will be a good trend as the positivity rate dips lower again today at less than 14%.

With 90 new deaths reported today, the case fatality ratio based on outcomes remains steady at 1.77%.

The number of new cases in NCR has begun trending lower than the 2,000 breakpoint, with 1,761 cases today or a little more than 25% of the total cases in the country. CALABARZON reported 1,359 (20%), while Central Luzon owned 852 (12.5%) of the share. These three regions, that once contributed to more than 70% of the total cases in the Philippines now account for 57.5% of the total cases in the country.

In NCR, five LGUs continue to report triple digits, with Quezon City keeping the lead. Twelve of the 17 LGUS managed to still make it to the top twenty cities with most cases.

On a provincial level, Cavite and Laguna continue to haul in the numbers.

On a city level, Zamboanga City, Puerto Princesa and Cagayan de Oro are seeing a rise in numbers in the urban areas outside of NCR. It is noteworthy to mention that Davao City, which has not seen itself in the top twenty cities with most cases for a long time, is back, and landed in 20th spot today.

The updated OCTA Research report for May 10, 2021 shows how well all the LGUs in the NCR are now performing based on May 3-9, 2021 data. Currently daily average is 63% less compared to the peak surge last March 29 to April 4. And the initial projections of 2,000 cases by May 14 has been revised to 1,700 to 1,800 new cases per day. The actual report in full is provided below.

The week that was and >1.01M cases on 05.09.2021

With today’s 7,174 new cases, the Philippines is averaging (based on 7-day moving average) less than 7,000 cases/day. This is good, considering that the positivity rate for May 7 (reported May 9) is lower at less than 14%. This pushes the Philippines now to more than 1.1 million COVID-19 cases.

The downside for today’s numbers are the rising deaths, with 204 new deaths today. The case fatality ratio based on outcomes (recoveries and deaths) is at 1.77 percent.

While NCR continued to lead on a regional level, it now accounts for less than 28% of the total cases in the country. CALABARZON is seeing increasing share of the total cases. Eleven of the regions report triple digits, including Zamboanga Peninsula which is seeing a marked rise in cases.

Among the cities in the NCR, Quezon City continued to lead with 459 cases or 23% of the cases for Mega Manila. Seven other cities reported triple digits. Twelve of the LGUs in the NCR were among the top twenty cities with most cases for the day.

Zamboanga City was number 2 overall among the top cities with the most cases for the day.

While Cavite continued to lead among provinces on a provincial level, Isabela and Zamboanga del Sur came in second and third, respectively.

The week in summary shows the decline in cases in the country. However, note the sudden increase in number of deaths.

Notice that while testing has more or less increased, it has also been very erratic. If we can constantly test regularly, the achievement lower positivity would most likely be faster. On the right side of the graph below, notice that the positivity rate is on the decrease.

While we know the problem India is currently going through, they are not alone. And neither is the Philippines. Several countries in Asia are trying to address second, and even third surges. Notice the graph below where Nepal is following the same trajectory as India, aside from sharing a border with India. Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, Maldives are noticeably seeing an increase in cases. The driving force? Variants and porous borders.

NCR Rt=0.69, as number of new cases in PH trends ~7K on 05.08.2021

Let’s start with the data released by the Health Agency for today. With 6,979 new cases, the Philippines has a 7-day average of 7,200 new cases/day, lower than the previous weeks. With NCR plus bubble as the epicenter of the outbreak in the country, the decline in cases in the Mega Manila has significantly brought down the number of new and total cases.

There were more than 10,000 recoveries and 170 new deaths reported today. This brings the case fatality ratio for outcomes to 1.77 percent. The active cases are down 5.8% today and it is a breath of fresh air to see the positivity rate trend less than 15% for the past few days with more than 50,000 tests being done. While the DoH points out that the ICU capacity is lower now in the NCR, it is unsettling that the ICU capacity has stayed at 63% nationally – which means that other regions who now account for more than 70% of the cases outside of the NCR are on the brink of a health care crisis in this second surge.

The OCTA Research has released, for the second day in a row, an update on the status of the National Capital Region, the hospital occupancy, regional status and the status of cities with most cases.

As the reproduction number in the NCR continues on a decline, the current daily average is 58 percent less marking the third consecutive week with a greater than 20% decline in cases. At this trend, the NCR is “expected to have less than 2,000 new cases daily by May 14.” But this is not a reason to put our guards down or reboot the economy because these are still high levels to contend with. We need to temper the decline in cases by correlating it with hospital bed occupancy and utilization of intensive care units. Note that the ICU utilization “for COVID-19 remained high, with 846 ICUs in the NCR occupied.”

On a provincial level, the top twenty provinces with the most number of new cases for May 1-7 are tabulated. “While the trend in the NCR is stable, the trend in Laguna is not. There was an increase in new cases in Calamba. Outside the NCR ‘bubble’, the following are considered areas of concern due to a rise in new COVID-19 cases: Cagayan de Oro, Puerto Princesa and Bacolod. Hospital bed and ICU occupancy for COVID-19 remained high in Baguio City, Tuguegarao, Cainta, Antipolo, Zamboanga City and Calamba.

Among the top 28 LGUs, Quezon City continued to lead but there is a decline in cases by 21%. All LGUs in the NCR are seeing lower cases except for Muntinlupa City, which is the lone LGU in Mega Manila that saw a rise of 11%.

Today’s data drop showed NCR accounting for less total cases (28.8%) compared to the previous weeks and as projected by OCTA, if the Rt continues its downward trajectory, should see less than 2,000 cases before the middle of the month. NCR + CALABARZON + Central Luzon continue to contribute to 60% of the country’s total cases.

In Mega Manila, new cases are lower in each LGU except for Muntinlupa which is seeing an unprecedented increase in numbers the last week. Eleven of 17 cities in the NCR are among the top twenty cities in the country for the day.

Four of five provinces in the CALABARZON region remain in the top ten provinces with most cases, with Laguna and Rizal in the lead. Laguna is being dragged to the top because of increasing cases in the city of Calamba.

Close to 8,000 again on 05.05.2021

A shave from 8,000 the Health Agency reports 7,733 new cases today, bringing the total cases close to 1.09 million. We will most likely cap the weekend with 1.1 million total cases.

Of course, one would always say that we can see the data today as a cup half full, instead of a cup half empty. So let’s look at that half full cup. The positivity rate for May 5 is at 14.1 % based on over 50,000 test run.

As of today, the Philippines has had more than 1 million recoveries from the more than 1.087 million total cases. The cup half empty is that with 108 new deaths, we have now passed the 18,000 deaths mark as well. The case fatality ratio based on outcomes (there were fewer recoveries than cases today) is slightly up at 1.77 percent. And while the Department of Health reports improvement in ICU capacity, which is down to 69% filled up in Mega Manila, this does not seem to translate to the actual occupancies in various hospitals in the National Capital Region.

Of the 7,733 cases reported today, 2,296 were from NCR or less than 30% of the total cases in the country today. A dramatic decline from what used to be the NCR accounting for almost half the cases in the Philippines. Based on the OCTA Research Philippine COVID-19, May 7, 2021 report, the average number of new COVID-19 cases in Mega Manila from April 30-May 6 is at 2,454, a drop of 56% compared to the peak surge. “The one week growth rate in the NCR was -25% from the previous week. The reproduction number in the NCR decreased to 0.70. The reproduction number in the entire country was 0.86.”

“The positivity rate in the NCR over the past week was 16% based on an average of 22,941 tests daily. Hospital bed occupancy in the NCR for COVID-19 decreased to 52%. The main concern is the continued increased in COVID-19 ICU beds occupied, currently more than 850. ICU bed occupancy rate for COVID-19 in the NCR, remained stable at 71% as the DoH helped scale up ICU bed capacity in the NCR.”

The granular data is provided early today showing the NCR owning less than 30% of the total cases in the country followed by CALABARZON and Central Luzon. The NCR plus bubble account for 63% of the cases in the nation. For the first time, 13 additional regions report triple digits.

Twelve of the 17 LGUs in NCR were among the top twenty cities with most cases in the country. Quezon City continued to lead among cities in the Philippines with 453 new cases today.

The province of Cavite, Isabela and Bulacan were the top three contributors to today’s numbers.

Horror story in a pandemic: Nepal is the new India; PH reports 6,637 new cases on 05.06.2021

While we focus on our own outbreak in this second surge, we take a break and look at our neighbors and see how they’re struggling in the pandemic. With a shared border, and culture, Nepal was most likely to be the next India. The striking difference is that Nepal is one of the poorest nations in the world. The country of more than 30 million people are banking on a healthcare system that has only 0.7 doctors for every 100,000 people and has 1,595 intensive care units (and 480 ventilators) for the whole nation. On a per capita basis, Nepal is seeing the same trend as its next door neighbor India.

Back home, the Health Agency announces 6,637 new cases today pushing the total cases now past 1.08 million. With more than 6000 new recoveries, the active cases remains steady at 5.8%. The positivity rate is also stable at 14.7% as of May 4 data.

New deaths were at 191 today. The case fatality ratio for outcomes is up at 1.77%.

Back home, the granular data showed NCR doing better (albeit still in the lead) with a little more than 2000 new cases. CALABARZON remains in second with 1,484 new cases. However, it is Western Visayas that has had more cases than the previous days with 488 reported.

Twelve of 17 LGUs in the NCR landed in the top twenty cities with most cases. With the rise in cases in Western Visayas, it was Bacolod that landed in 6th place overall among the top twenty cities.