The mark of the devil 6666…The data drop: 03.24.21

As in previous trends, Wednesday will be slightly higher than Tuesdays numbers.

With 6,666 new cases today, 47 new deaths and 1,072 recent recoveries announced by the Health Agency, we move closer to the 700,000 mark most likely before the weekend.

Active cases are now more than 91,000 (13.4 percent) and climbing with a daily positivity of 15.3 percent.

Notice the comparison of healthcare capacity (ICU beds, Isolation beds, ward beds and ventilators) between the country and the National Capital Region. ICU beds for COVID have now breached 70 percent capacity (critical level) in Mega Manila.

The NCR continued the daily haul with 3,758 new cases or 56.4 percent of todays total. CALABARZON is in second with 16.3 percent (1,085), and Central Luzon in third with 11 percent (712). These three regions together accounted for almost 85 percent of the total cases in the country in the midweek data drop.

The larger unknown of 47 cases on a regional level is disturbing in data collection. There were 22 new cases from ROFs.

In the National Capital Region, 13 of the 17 LGUs continue to report triple digit cases, with Quezon City accounting for 23 percent of the cases in Mega Manila. Manila followed with 570. Parañaque, Makati, Taguig and Caloocan had more than 200 cases, while Pasig, Marikina, Pasay, Mandaluyong, Las Piñas, Navotas and Valenzuela saw more than 100 but less than 200 cases.

Fourteen of 17 LGUs from NCR ranked 1st to 14th in todays haul. Muntinlupa was 14th among the 20 top cities with most cases for the day.

On a provincial level, Bulacan continued the haul with 439 new cases, followed by Cavite and Rizal. Cebu moved down to fourth rank with 208 new cases only.

The OCTA Research Group provides an update on the situation in the Philippines in general, and the National Capital Region in particular, with close to 55-60 percent of the cases coming from Mega Manila.

As of March 23, 2021, the reproduction number in NCR was 1.99 and the number of new cases averaged more than 3,600 daily in Mega Manila. An increase of 62 percent compared to the past week. The daily attack rate in NCR has jumped to 25.9 per 100,000 population which is much higher than the attack rate of 12.8 per 100,000 on July 28 – August 3, 2020, prior to shifting the capital from GCQ back to MECQ.

Philippine COVID-19 Update, OCTA Research, March 24, 2021

The ten top regions/provinces are provided in the graph below, with their corresponding percentage change per region. Notice that the province of Cebu is the only one that saw a significant decrease, Benguet a slight uptick, and the remaining provinces in the top 10 soared significantly.

Based on the projections for the National Capital Region (plug GCQ Bubble), the report indicates that

…several provinces in CALBARZON and Central Luzon are also having an increase in cases, including Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, Batangas and Pampanga. These are the provinces included in the bubble, but we need to monitor closely the trends in Batangas and Pampanga, considering these provinces are outside the bubble but the week to week average increase in new cases was actually higher in these provinces compared to the bubble.

The figure below shows simulations based on two possible scenarios in the NCR. Using a current reproduction number of Rt=2.0, a scenario based on a decreasing trend (blue line) illustrates the effect on the number of cases IF the reproduction number decreases to Rt = 1.5 after two weeks. There will be a downward (trend) in four weeks, and the number of new cases per day will reach 6,200.

In a more optimistic scenario (green bars), the reproduction number will decrease to less than 1.0 after two weeks and the trend will reverse. The number of new cases under the more optimistic scenario could reach 5,000 per day in the NCR. While the optimistic scenario is NOT IMPOSSIBLE, it is mathematically unlikely, considering the nation’s pandemic history.

Philippine COVID-19 update, OCTA Monitoring Report, March 24, 2021

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