New beginnings – 2021’s first quarter challenge

All local data are information downloaded from the Data Drop of the Philippine Department of Health. The author does not own any of the information except the analysis of all data. Global data are referenced properly from, (European CDC), World Health Organization (, and the New York Times. Where appropriate, additional information may be culled from other references or health agencies.


When the cases are lower, it means that the regions have fewer tests done. The Health Agency reports 50 percent less cases today than yesterday with 1,169 new cases. The deaths, however, are a different story. There are 71 new deaths today, driving the fatality rate up at 2.03 percent (from 2.02 percent).

Quezon City led the pack today with 57 new cases.

  • The OCTA Research Report for January 28, 2021 raises concern for the rising cases in Cebu province and Cebu City.

Over the past 7 days, the province averaged 147 new COVID-19 cases per day, an increase of 67% from the previous week. On the week of December 17-23, the province averaged just 11 new Covid-19 cases per day. The reproduction number in Cebu province over the past week was 1.57, much higher than the reproduction number for the entire Philippines, which was 0.96. Its positivity rate over the past week was 6% even as PCR testing in the region increased by 10% to 2,400 tests per day. While the attack rate of Cebu was still below the high risk cut-off, the significant increase in new cases, if unmitigated, could pose challenges to the healthcare system of the province.

The concern right now is the possibility that the UK B.1.1.7 variant is spreading in parts of Cebu.

OCTA Research, Philippine COVID-19 Report, January 28, 2021
  • In other parts of the country, the only other province that saw a significant rise in cases was Iloilo.

The growth of cases in Mountain Province, where the UK variant was identified, started to slow down as certain barangays were placed under lockdown. Other provinces in the north started to see a decline in cases. These include Isabela, Cagayan, Kalinga, Pangasinan and Benguet.

However, the positivity rates remain high in the Mountain Province, Benguet and Pangasinan.

The reproduction number in NCR decreased to 0.93 while the positivity rate held at 4% as trends remained flat.

OCTA Research, Philippine COVID-19 report, January 28, 2021

The Philippines (January 27, 2021)

  • The country saw a doubling of cases yesterday from the previous day, with 2,245 new cases.
  • NCR accounted for 18.7 percent of the total cases with 420 new cases.
  • Nine regions reported triple digits. They were: NCR, CAR, CALABARZON, Central Visayas, Davao Region, Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, Northern Mindanao and Eastern Visayas. Together, all these nine regions totaled 1,903 new cases or 85 percent of the cases yesterday.
  • There were 9 OFWs (ROFs) in yesterday’s report.
  • Cebu province was on top for the third consecutive day with 199 new cases with three other provinces reporting triple digits – Benguet, Pangasinan and Davao del Sur.
  • Seven of seventeen cities in NCR were in the top twenty cities/municipalities with most cases for the day.

The World (January 27, 2021)

  • The world recorded 584,949 new cases and 16,215 new deaths yesterday, bringing the total cases now past 101 million mark.
  • The global case fatality rate is up at 2.153 percent.
  • The United States continued to lead in new cases and new deaths globally.
  • Brazil now passes the 9 million mark with more than 60,000 new cases yesterday.