The Wednesday drop of more than 4k on 06.23.2021

The Wednesday data will always be the second highest number of cases for the week. Tuesday is notably the day with lowest new cases.

The Health Agency reports 4353 new cases today based on a little over 33k tests done with 11.4% positivity rate last June 21. Sundays and Mondays will always have the lowest tests done. Understandably the Sundays will have lower tests are some testing facilities are closed.

With 119 new deaths today, the case fatality ratio for outcomes is steady at 1.81%.

With more recoveries than new cases, the active cases are now less than 50,000 (3.6%).

CALABARZON and NCR took back the lead for regions with most new cases for the day as Davao comes in third. Visayas and Mindanao continue to contribute to the new cases for the day.

In the NCR, Quezon City reports triple digits once again, with 4 cities/municipalities reporting single digits. Seven of 17 LGUs in NCR were among the top twenty cities with most cases.

On a provincial level, it is Davao del Sur, South Cotabato and Laguna that led the pack.

Among all LGUs, Davao City led the pack with more than twice the cases of Quezon City. Joining them to round up the top five were: City of Tagum, Butuan and Koronadal. Unknown municipalities New Washington in Aklan and Polanco in Zamboanga del Norte were among the top twenty LGUs today.

The Tuesday drop on 06.22.2021 with 3,666 new cases

Because it is a Tuesday, the 3,666 new cases came as good news with more than 31K tests done on a Sunday – June 20. The positivity rate is still up close to 12%. With more than 6810 recoveries, the active cases now decrease to a little more than 52,000 (3.9%).

There are 60 new deaths reported today, putting the case fatality ratio for outcomes at 1.81%. The Tuesday data is lower than the past Tuesday reports. Hopefully, we continue the decline in cases for the whole country as the vaccines continue to roll out.

Of course it came as a surprise that Davao Region suddenly dropped from 600 plus cases to just 87 cases today. But NCR has managed to stay clear of the lead as CALABARZON and Eastern Visayas took the first and second place today.

For the first time, Quezon City reported only double digits. The following cities in NCR, joined QC among the top five – Manila, Pasig, Muntinlupa and Caloocan City. Seven LGUs in NCR reported single digits today. Only 4 of the 17 LGUs were among the top 20 cities with most cases.

Laguna took back the lead on a provincial level, while Bacolod City led among all LGUs in the country in a day that saw fewer cases.

The OCTA Monitoring Report released today notes that the number of cases in the country declined by 8% (averaging 6,027 daily) from June 15-21 and the reproduction number dipping a tad lower at 0.95. The NCR continued to have decreasing cases with a 15% decline from the previous week. Its average daily attack rate is now at 5.07/100,000 population and the Rt = 0.73. Positivity rate for tests is at 7% compared to the national positivity rate of >13%. That is because the bulk of the testing facilities are in Mega Manila, where extensive testing can and is being done .

The data in the LGUs outside of NCR is not good news. Davao City, Bacolod, Iloilo City, Cagayan de Oro and Tacloban remain areas of concern. The variability in the increase of cases in these LGUs, ADAR, hospital bed occupancy rate and ICU rate are parameters that should be monitored rather than just the number of new cases. Hospital utilization is a reflection of how the healthcare system of the LGU is doing and mirrors how the situation of the outbreak in the community.

Positivity rate plateaus at 13%, with 5,249 new cases reported on 06.21.2021

With close to 5,300 cases today for reports on June 19 in over 43,000 cases and a positivity rate of 13%, the Philippines now has over 1.36M COVID-19 cases. The active cases remain above 4% (55,847).

There are 128 new deaths today, putting the case fatality ratio for outcomes is steady at 1.82%.

Davao, for the first time, officially took the lead in number of new cases by region, province (Davao del Sur) and City (Davao City) as the outbreak continued to spread across Visayas and Mindanao.

CALABARZON and NCR are in ranks 2nd and 3rd, with NCR owning 11% of the total cases. Western, Central and Eastern Visayas had more cases than NCR and Region IVA combined.

Among LGUs in NCR, Quezon City was the lone city with triple digits and Pateros had a glorious day with ZERO cases.

But it was a day where other LGUs also reported lower cases, which put the NCR LGUs in a precarious position with 8 of 17 cities landing in the top twenty cities with most cases for the day.

As of this post, the Health Agency has announced that around 2% of the Philippine population have been fully vaccinated. At least 6% have received a single dose with the breakdown provided in their graph below.

It would be more interesting to find out how many (in percentage) in the various categories have actually received their vaccines. For example, if there are 1,000,000 HCWs (healthcare workers) in the country and 990,000 have been fully immunized, then that means that 99% of the HCWs have been immunized. This is important as the numbers below do not mean anything if you’re just counting the numbers.

In addition, here is the latest Biosurveillance Report from the Philippine Genome Center on the status of the variants circulating in the country. Alpha and Beta variants remain the predominant variants we are seeing in their random genome sequencing of swabs taken from positive patients in the sequenced date.

Plateauing at 7K because of rising cases outside of NCR, the PH Rt = 1.03 on 06.20.2021

With 2 laboratories not submitting reports for June 18, the Health Agency announces 5,803 new cases today. The positivity rate is still high at 13.2% because testing is insufficient at less than 50,000 test two days ago. The active cases dip a little less than the 60,000 average.

With 84 new deaths, the case fatality ratio for outcomes is at 1.81%.

CALABARZON, NCR, and Western Visayas continued to lead the regions with most cases for the day. The Visayas and Mindanao Regions continue to account for majority of the cases in the country.

In NCR, Quezon City has difficulty in controlling its cases, as the city contributes to almost 1/3 of the total cases for Mega Manila alone. Five of 17 LGUs in NCR were among the top twenty cities with most cases.

On a provincial level, Negros Occidental, Davao del Sur and Leyte reported more than 300 cases apiece.

Davao City continued to lead as the city with most cases. Other cities rounding up the top five LGUs for the day are – Quezon City, Bacolod City, Dumaguete City and General Santos City.

The OCTA Research Monitoring Report updated for June 20, shows how the various LGUs in the country are performing week-on-week and contributing to the cases of COVID-19 in the country. NCR, the erstwhile epicenter of the country is currently seeing an average of 750 new cases/day. A drop of 11%. It’s ADAR (average daily attack rate) is lower at 5.43/100,000 population as a region.

LGUs seeing significant rises include Davao City (up at 42%), Cebu City (up at 45%), Polomok (up at 32%), and Valencia (Bukidnon, up at 80%). Notice that while Cebu City is seeing higher cases, their health care utilization (beds and ICU) remain significantly low. This is because the cases are from extensive contact tracing done and patients who are positive being isolated early. This, however, is not true for other LGUs where the rise in cases are from symptomatically ill patients.

Health bed utilization is highest in Iloilo City and Polomok (South Cotabato). ICU rates are up in Davao City, Iloilo City, General Santos, Tagum, Polomok (South Cotabato), San Pablo (Laguna), Tuguegarao, Cotabato City, Bacoor (Cavite) and Naga City. As the virus continues to spread throughout the archipelago, it is important for the government to concentrate all efforts on testing – both symptomatic and asymptomatic close contact cases. Vital in the TTIQ-V (Test, Trace, Isolate, Quarantine, Vaccination) algorithm, is the ability to test early (and release results early) so that tracing, isolating and quarantine can be done within a 48-72 hour span. Anything less that this will result in a continued increase in cases. Of course, there are only two ways to bring down the positivity rates – do more testing (100,000/day) or do not test at all. Doing the latter would result in chaos and a breakdown of the healthcare standards of the nation. At this point, as many provinces have very few testing facilities, which result in a very late release of reports, the Health Agency must accept the option of doing rapid antigen tests in patients who are symptomatic as basis for counting and including these patients in the daily data count. When patients are rapid antigen positive, PCR tests should be immediately done, and while waiting for confirmatory results, all contacts of patients who were antigen positive should be quarantined and closely monitored pending the release of the PCR results. Isolation of patients who are antigen positive should also be imposed, similar to patients who are RT-PCR positive. We lose nothing at this point by using these tests because of the outbreak.

The week in review showed how the country continued to plateau in numbers. As of June 19, the Philippines added 44,884 new cases and 889 new deaths for the week of June 13-19. This, as the new cases bounced around the 7,000 average per day for the week and deaths stayed more than 100/day (and considered an underreport).

Testing became challenging as many of the provinces/regions that are seeing rise in cases have limited testing facilities. The Health Agency only counts PCR tested individuals in the daily data. In spite of the 265 accredited testing facilities in the country [https://doh.gov.ph/licensed-covid-19-testing-laboratories], the testing facilities are not enough in areas outside of the NCR and highly urbanized centers (Cebu and Davao, CALABARZON and Central Luzon).

NCR owned 112 of 265 (42.3%) accredited centers in the country but is now seeing only less than 800 new cases per day. Together with the 22 centers in CALABARZON, half the testing centers in the nation are found in these two regions alone.

Compare that with say, Polomok in South Cotabato, Region XII with only 7 testing center – 4 of which are private and 3 public. Two of the testing centers are in Cotabato City, one in Koronadal, two in General Santos City, and two in Sultan Kudarat (both found in Tacurong City). The apparent disequilibrium in testing capacity in the country should be addressed by the government (particularly the IATF and testing czar) as COVID-19 is not a propriety of the urbanized areas alone.

For now, this is how we stand in some select countries in Asia. Many who saw surges have been able to bring down the cases for now. Sadly, our country is still debating the role of face shields in the pandemic.

With close to 7K cases, the PH now passes the 1.35M mark on 06.19.2021

The Health Agency continued to report higher cases for today with 6,959 new cases (6 laboratories failing to submit reports so that’s clearly more than 7K) for more than 50,000 tests done on June 17 with a nationwide positivity rate of 11.5%. The active cases continue to hover around 60,000 per day.

There were 153 new deaths reported today places the case fatality ratio steady at 1.82%.

While CALABARZON remains to lead among regions with NCR in second, Western Visayas is turning up a storm as it reports close to 800 new cases.

Among the LGUs in NCR, Quezon City marks more than 200 cases again while the other cities continue to report double digits only, with Navotas reporting only 5 cases. In spite of this, 7 of 17 LGUs in NCR still managed to land in the top twenty cities with most cases.

On a provincial level, it is Laguna that continued to pour in the cases and lead the provinces with most cases for the day, followed by Negros Occidental and Davao Region.

Among all LGUs in the country, Davao City continued to lead in number of cases, followed by Quezon City, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo City, and Bacolod City to close the top five.

The rise of the provinces with 6,833 new cases on 06.18.2021

Close to 7,000 new cases, with 5 laboratories not reporting today, with almost 44K tests on June 16 still had a positivity rate of 12.6%. The active cases continue to average around 60,000 cases daily. And the provinces continue to rake in the new cases.

There are 110 new deaths reported today putting the case fatality ratio for outcomes is steady at 1.82% ICU bed utilization is also up in the regions outside of the NCR. Note that this is the average, and includes other regions that are seeing lower cases.

CALABARZON takes back the lead from NCR with close to 1,000 cases. Except for BARMM, all other regions reported triple digit numbers. It was the Visayas that saw a horrible day with Western, Central and Eastern Visayas capping the top five regions from 3rd to 5th ranks.

Back in the NCR, it is not surprising that Quezon City continued to lead with triple digit cases. The good news is that four cities/municipality had only single digits – Malabon, San Juan, Navotas and Pateros. Six of 17 LGUs in NCR are among the top twenty cities with highest cases.

On a provincial level, Iloilo grabbed the lead followed by Laguna and Davao del Sur.

Overall LGUs showed Davao City continuing to lead among the top twenty cities in the country. Aside from Quezon City (which will most likely never be out of the top five cities with most cases), Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga City and Iloilo City cap the top five.

The OCTA Research Monitoring for June 18, 2021 shows that among LGUs outside of NCR, Davao City is seeing an increase in new COVID-19 cases. Yesterday, June 17, the Health Agency data drop showed Davao City reporting 482 new cases, its highest ever since the pandemic began last year. This is an increase of 26% from the daily average of 184 new cases daily last June 4-10. The ICU rate is over 90%.

This phenomenon is not an isolated one among LGUs outside of NCR. Bacolod City, Iloilo City, Cagayan de Oro and Dumaguete are also among the top five cities with highest cases. Baguio City saw a 49% increase in cases. Polomok in South Cotabato had the highest increase in cases at 63% for the week of June 11-17. Dumaguete had the highest ADAR (average daily attack rate at 52.21 per 100,000 population) while Iloilo City had the highest Hospital Bed Utilization Rate (HBUR).

ICUR was highest for Koronadal and Bacoor (Cavite) at 100%. Those near or above 90% ICUR included Davao City, Iloilo City, Tagum, Batangas City, and Tuguegarao.

With a little more than 6.6K, and 11.9% positivity on 06.17.2021

For the past weeks, the Philippines has averaged 6500 new daily cases. This 7-day moving average includes the low Tuesdays and Wednesdays and the high Fridays to Sundays. That’s because the report is based on tests done 2 days behind.

Today, the Health Agency announces 6,637 new cases as the active cases still hover around the 60K average. Todays cases are based on close to 45,000 tests done on 06.15.2021 with an 11.9% positivity rate. The positivity rate is being dragged up with the higher cases in the various regions outside of NCR, where testing sites are fewer and where it takes more than 7 days to release results because of the surge in cases. The health agency should allow the use of rapid antigen tests, particularly in symptomatic patients in these areas current experiencing insurmountable outbreaks so that they are able to complement the lack of testing in order to properly trace, isolate and quarantine early and appropriately.

With 155 new deaths today, the case fatality ratio for outcomes is now up at 1.82%.

After more than week trailing behind CALABARZON, NCR is back on top as the region with most cases with close to 1,000 or 16% (that sudden jump) new cases for the day. Western Visayas took the second rank, with Central Luzon and Davao Region overtaking CALABARZON, which landed in fifth. These five regions raked in more than 700 new cases each and accounted for 63% or almost 2/3 of the cases in the country today.

In NCR, Quezon City and Caloocan City reported triple digits for the day with 8 of 17 LGUs in NCR back in the top twenty cities with most cases.

On a provincial level, it was Davao del Sur that led the pack, by a mile with 504 new cases and Davao City accounting for 482 of these cases – 96% in the province or 67% in the region. Negros Occidental and Iloilo province jumped into the top ten at second and third rank today.

As NCR continued to decline in new cases, which region owns the bulk of the 5,414 new cases on 06.16.2021?

The Health Agency announced more than 5,000 new cases today (as it is a Wednesday) for tests done on June 14, 2021 in slightly more than 36,000 individuals resulting in 13.7% positivity rate. Many of the reported cases from the provinces, which have less PCR facilities are submitting delayed reports. Some of the tests done in May were reported only in June. This means that we will expect more cases in the subsequent weeks. It is also disturbing why the government refuses to utilize antigen swab testing in areas where the outbreak and the positivity rate is exceedingly high. A delay in releasing results for PCR tests make tracing and isolation/quarantine difficult and allows the disease to continue to spread.

With 158 new deaths today, the case fatality ratio for outcomes is steady at 1.81 percent as the total deaths now exceed the 23,000 mark. And rising.

CALABARZON led with most cases on a regional level. Except for BARMM, all regions continued to report triple digit cases.

Among LGUs in NCR, Quezon City continued to lead with 110 cases, one of their lowest numbers to date. Two LGUs reported single digits – Malabon and Navotas. Pateros had zero cases. Five of the 17 LGUs in NCR were among the top 20 cities with most cases for the day.

On a provincial level, it was Laguna that led for the day. Majority of the provinces in the top ten were from the Mindanao region. But this may not be a true reflection of the cases in the country, as many provinces do not have adequate testing facilities and results may take days or weeks to get accounted for.

The top 5 cities with most cases were dominated by cities outside NCR. Only Quezon City was included and landed in third rank. Number one continued to be Davao City and Baguio City came in second.

The OCTA Research Monitoring update for June 16, 2021, shows that new cases in the NCR continue to decline with an average of 829 daily cases over the week June 9-15 (13% drop from the previous week). The ADAR was lowest in Navotas and highest in Pateros. Health care utilization rate is also lowest in Navotas and highest in Pateros, while the intensive care unit use was at >70% in the cities of San Juan, Las Piñas, and Parañaque. The over-all positivity rate is at 8%, much lower than the national positivity rate of >13%.

Because it is a Tuesday, 5,389 new cases on 06.15.2021

The Tuesday will always bring in 20-30% lower cases than the daily average.

The Health Agency today announces 5,389 new cases for a little more than 30,000 tests only, done last June 13. The national positivity rate is higher at 13.9% as most of the cases we are seeing now are outside of NCR, where testing facilities and healthcare resources are direly lacking. As the fire rages in the periphery, it is inevitable that provinces seeing higher cases go into stricter lockdown measures, improve border controls, and use the concept of travel and business bubble in the areas to contain the spread of the pandemic.

With 118 new deaths, the case fatality ratio for outcomes is steady at 1.81 percent.

While there were relatively lower cases today than the past days of the week, all regions continued to report triple digits. CALABARZON remained on top with the NCR down to third rank. Most of the regions with higher cases are still from the VisMin area.

LGUs in NCR continued to report less cases, including Quezon City. But that is because there were 16 testing centers that failed to submit reports. Most of the cases reported outside of NCR plus are late reports. We should expect a rise in cases in the coming days, particularly from the regional areas outside of NCR plus. Only three of 17 LGUs in the NCR made it to the top twenty cities with most cases.

On a provincial level, Cavite is back in the leader board. While Davao Region reported only 231 cases, and Davao del Sur was not even among the top ten provinces, Davao City (together with Bacolod City) shared the limelight as the city with most cases at 126, out sprinting Quezon City.

With 6K plus, the difficulty of the provinces is palpably felt on 06.14.2021

Today’s Health Agency reported 6,426 new cases with active cases still hovering around 60K. Note that todays cases are based on June 12 with more than 40K cases and a difficult positivity rate at 13.7%.

There were 57 new deaths announced today, which puts the case fatality ratio at 1.81%.

The good news is that no region reported quadruple digits today. Not even CALABARZON.

The bad news? All the regions in the Philippines reported triple digits.

CALABARZON continued to lead the pack, but the NCR is back in second slot and Western Visayas in third. Note that the erratic figures coming in from the regions outside of NCR plus, Davao Region and Central Visayas, are due to the fact that there are fewer testing facilities in other areas. When results are released, there are occasional bursts of cases in these areas. Using a 7-day average report (as provided by OCTA) is a better indicator of the testing capacity and cases in these areas.

In the NCR, Quezon City and Manila managed to report triple digits for the day. Six of 17 LGUs in Mega Manila remained among the top twenty cities with most cases.

On a provincial level, it was Davao del Sur that topped the provinces, followed by Laguna and Iloilo Province.

Davao City contributed to the majority of cases in the province of Davao del Sur, and being responsible for why Davao City had the most number of new cases of COVID-19 on a city level, today. Two other cities outside of NCR were among the top five for the day – Iloilo City and Baguio City.

As the cases in the provinces see an upward trajectory, one can see how the frail healthcare systems outside of more urbanized areas can easily be overwhelmed even with simply triple digit cases. No province has experienced the same quantity of cases as Mega Manila. With limited resources, even the most urbanized city outside of NCR will definitely feel the pressure on its healthcare system, and can result in higher death rates because of the deluge of cases.

Western Visayas, for example, has been in MECQ for quite some time and even this level of lockdown has continued to inundate the region with more cases in the past week.

In the latest OCTA Monitoring Report, Dumaguete is the area of most serious concern as its one-week growth rate continues to escalate, its average daily attack rate is almost 70 per 100,000 population and the intensive care unit utilization is at critical levels.

The list below provides a look into LGUs outside the NCR plus, that has the most number of new cases from June 7-13, 2021. While Davao City remained in the lead, it has managed to bring down the number of new cases and its ADAR as well. However, ICU rate is unsettling at 92%.

The IATF may want to rethink on the quarantine status of some of these LGUs and move them to one where mobility is more restricted in order to stem the continued transmission of spread of the virus in select regions.