Slow down Tuesday with 8,571 new cases on 04.13.2021

You know that the data of the Health Agency is consistent (although not necessarily accurate) when they report lower numbers on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The data for Tuesday are collated from tests done on a Sunday. As we all know, not all testing facilities are open daily or 24/7 and are usually closed on Sundays and holidays. This is true as well in other parts of the world. Because the data in other countries in the world are mostly real time, you will notice that the global cases are always lower on Mondays and Tuesdays (because most of the European and North American countries are a day back with respect to Philippine time). The bottomline is – COVID19 testing is not a medical emergency.

The DOH reports 8,571 new cases or almost a 25 percent drop from the cases in the previous days. This is the usual trend prior to the surge. Tuesdays and Wednesdays would see around 20-25 percent less cases than the average high days from Thursday to Monday. There is a slowing down in the increase of cases but we need to work at bringing down the reproduction rate to not only 1.0 but less than 0.7 (and even lower) in order to provide some order to the chaos we are current experiencing.

There were 137 new deaths reported. Positivity rate is at 18.3 percent (appreciably lower than the previous days) but the hospitals are inundated with patients where ICUs are now filled to the brim in many public and private hospitals in the National Capital Region. Isolation facilities have been added in some cities, but not enough for the rising cases in those localities.

The distribution of the “ayudas” and reports of some disorganized vaccination sites should be addressed by the individual local government units because these propagate super spreader events. While the intention to provide assistance and immunization is vital, it should be a well thought of plan (I thought that there was enough time to practice this while they were all waiting for the arrival of the vaccines), ironically is such a mess in some areas with people jockeying to get vaccine slots or hoping to be part of the QSL (quick substitution list). These two super spreader events need to get addressed promptly in order not to affect the gains of the current quarantine status.

With daily cases at 10,000/day, deaths based on CFR are at > 200/day. The data for 04.12.2021

There is good news and there is bad.

Let’s start with the good. With a reproduction rate of 1.2, it means that the growth of cases has slowed down significantly. Slowing down does not mean declining cases. It means, that instead of multiplying to more than twice the number in the previous week, there will still be minor increases and seems to be headed to plateauing. The positivity rate has also declined from a week high of 25 percent to 19.5 percent today.

The bad news is that while the case fatality rate nationally is 1.73 percent, it is much higher in the National Capital Region at 2.1 percent. This finding is not unexpected. Note that the NCR + bubble, which is current riddled with an overload of critical patients is a reflection of what happens when the healthcare facilities are overwhelmed. Medical care is compromised, better healthcare access is limited, patient care is delayed, and patient outcome is poorer. The total number of deaths has passed the 15,000 mark.

The Health Agency reports 11,378 new cases but 204 new deaths. Healthcare facilities continue to be burdened with the rising cases. The active cases have continued to rise and is now almost 160,000.

Based on the yesterdays data from the Department of Health, the following top 5 regions account for close to 80 percent of the total cases of the Philippines. So far, these are the total cases based on regional breakdown with NCR, CALABARZON, Central Luzon, Central Visayas and Western Visayas having the most cases in the country.

Todays data drop showed that NCR, CALABARZON, and Central Luzon continue to bring the haul for the day with 76 percent of the total cases. Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, CAR, Ilocos Region, Central Visayas and Bicol Region report triple digits. There were 67 cases with no known location on a regional level.

In the NCR, 15 of the 17 LGUs reported triple digits with Quezon City reporting 940 new cases. Manila and Pasig reported more than 600 but less than 700 cases. Thirteen of the 17 LGUs in Mega Manila were among the top 20 cities with most cases, with rank 1-12 all from NCR.

At a provincial level, Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal and Laguna report more than 500 cases today.

The weekend summary and data for 04.11.2021

The Health Agency reports 11,681 new cases today pushing the total cases of the Philippines to 864,868. Sunday serves as the day when the recovery haul is reported, with 55,204 recoveries reported today. While this brought the total active cases to 16.9 percent, the number of reported active cases are still high at close to 150,000.

New deaths were reported at 201 for today.

Positivity rates for tests are still past 20 percent and ICU beds and isolation beds based on reports by the DOH is at past critical levels. Reports, however, from respective hospitals are more grim where many private and government hospitals in the LGUs in Mega Manila have passed the brink of despair.

While the reproductive number of the NCR is now lower at 1.24, this should not make the government and the people complacent as the IATF now lowers the quarantine restrictions to MECQ in spite of the high numbers we are still recording. For the week of April 4-10, 2021 alone, the Philippines had almost 70,000 new cases and 1,323 new deaths.

The Health Agency releases the report of the Philippine Genome Center Biosurveillance Report (batches 12-14) based on 1,361 samples sequenced nationally. While most the variants are B.1.1.1.7 (UK variant), it is quite alarming that there are more B.1.351 (South African variant) as additional cases in the latest batches. Data as of April 9, 2021 showed both the UK and SA variants dominating the type of variants that are present. Note, that not all samples swabbed undergo genomic sequencing.

The following regions continued the daily haul today: NCR, CALABARZON, Central Luzon, and Cagayan Valley. NCR owned 48 percent of the cases in the country. But these four regions accounted for 84 percent of the total cases for the day. Six other regions reported triple digits.

Fourteen of 17 LGUs in the NCR were in the top 20 cities with most cases.

Quezon City continues to dominate among the cities with most cases, Muntinlupa City is seeing a rise in its new cases. This is in relation to the population size of Muntinlupa compared to other LGUs. One must look at the numbers based on a per capita (or population size) and not simply the number of cases alone.

On a provincial level, Cavite continues to lead followed by Rizal and Bulacan. All the provinces in the top 10 report triple digits.


With cases averaging 10,000 daily in the country, the Philippines displaces Sweden and is behind Iraq, which is experiencing a difficult second surge as well but has an average of 7,000 new cases daily. Lower than the 7-day average of the Philippines.

The weekend summary shows the current testing capacity of the Philippines. Note the fewer daily COVID-19 tests conducted within the week interval because of the Holy Week holiday and the share of COVID-19 tests that are positive has skyrocketed past the 5 percent acceptable mark.

On cases and deaths from COVID-19, the Philippines also sees a large sudden peak for deaths and cases. Cases, however, see a tinge of decline, again due to the fewer reports due to the fewer testing done during the Holy Week holiday.

The graph below provides an overview on how select Asian neighbors are faring compared to the Philippines in the COVID19 pandemic.

The PH now ranks 28th globally with 12,674 new cases on 04.10.2021

With 12,674 new cases announced today, this is actually the highest number of cases recorded for a single day in the second surge of the pandemic in the Philippines. The 15,280 cases on April 02, included carry over of more than 3,700 backlog cases from the previous days, making the actual total cases recorded for April 02, 2021 at 11,601. This pushes the total active cases now to more than 190,000 and the total number of cases in the country to 853,209. With a positivity rate of still more than 20 percent (with more than 50,000 samples tested daily in the past several days), we will most likely see more than 10,000 cases daily in the upcoming week.

New deaths reported was 225 today. Healthcare capacity is at alarming capacity with 86 percent of ICU beds and 69 percent of isolation beds now occupied.

As the world shoots past 135 million COVID-19 cases and close to 3 M deaths from COVID-19, the Philippines moves up another rank to number 28, displacing Israel. As the numbers rack up, we will most likely displace Sweden for 27th spot tomorrow.

While NCR continued to lead with 5,920 (46.7 percent) of the total cases in the country, CALABARZON (2,517), Central Luzon (1,515), Ilocos Region (500), Cagayan Valley (487) and Western Visayas (484) accounted for more than 90 percent of the total cases today. There were 80 cases with no known location on a regional level, while there were 25 ROFs.

In the National Capital Region, Quezon City, Manila and Caloocan City were the top contributors responsible for over 44 percent of the cases in Mega Manila. Only the city of Marikina posted double digit cases. Fifteen of 17 cities in the NCR were in the top 20 cities with most cases for the day.

On a provincial level, Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal and Laguna had more than 500 new cases for the day. The fewest number of cases among the top ten provinces was Cebu, with 240 new cases.

401 deaths, 12,225 cases as the PH records a grim day on 04.09.2021

One of the grimmest day came ironically on Valor Day, otherwise called the fall of Bataan in the past, as the Philippine records the highest number of deaths in a single day with 401 and 12,225 new cases. Majority of the cases come from NCR, followed by CALABARZON, Central Luzon, Cagayan Valley and CAR. While the reproduction rates are lower this week at 1.24, the total number of new daily cases are plateauing only at the higher boundaries. Which means that if I have for example 12,500 daily cases but a Rt of 1.0, I will still have 12,500 daily cases in subsequent days. And it will take time for the number of cases to significantly drop because the reproduction rate is still above 1.0.

The number of active cases are now close to 180,000 as the Philippines passes more than 840,000 total cases. The positivity rate is still above 20 percent and the hospital ICU beds and isolation beds are past the critical level.

The OCTA Research Monitoring Update report gives the public an overview on the current situation in the Philippines after 2 weeks of ECQ. The reproduction rate has decreased, but it simply means that the new cases have simply slowed down in the increase and not decreased in actual numbers.

During this period, the NCR was averaging lower tests per day (19 percent less than the average over the week before ECQ). This means that we may not be seeing the complete picture of the ongoing pandemic.

The table below shows the regions in the Philippines with the most new cases for the week April 2-8, 2021, the growth rate of cases in the week, hospital bed occupancy and ICU bed occupancy.

The regions with the highest single week growth rate are BARMM (133 percent), Ilocos (119 percent), and CAR (113 percent). Moderate growth is seen in Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, Bicol Region, Zamboanga Peninsula and CARAGA. The greatest impact of the surge is on the ICU bed occupancy in the NCR, CALABARZON, Central Luzon, Cagayan Valley and CAR – the top 5 regions in the country with most cases.

The top twenty cities with most cases are tabulated below and show that only Muntinlupa City in Mega Manila is seeing the highest growth rate at 68 percent, while many of the LGUs have shown a large decline in growth rate (note in blue the negative decline). ICU occupancy is already filled up to 80-100 percent in 15 of the 20 top LGUs.

In the meantime, the breakdown of the 12,225 cases for today were as follows:

  1. NCR, CALABARZON, and Central Luzon accounted for 77.5 percent of the total cases today with 9,489 cases. Nine other regions reported triple digits.
  2. Quezon City led with 1,127 new cases followed by Manila with 745 cases and Caloocan with 578. 16 of 17 LGUs had all triple digits. Fifteen of 17 LGUs were in the top 20 cities with the most cases. Muntinlupa Cities, while reporting only 160 cases had the highest growth of cases among all LGUs in the NCR.
  3. Cavite for the first time saw quadruple digits with 1,005 new cases followed by Bulacan (632) and Rizal (541).
  4. All top ten provinces reported triple digits.

PH has more than 20% active cases, the data for 04.08.2021

With 9,216 new cases announced by the Health Agency today, the total number of active cases are closing in to 170,000 (or 20.2 percent). The highest on record. There are now 828,366 total cases as the Philippines quickly overtakes Portugal for 29th rank in the world. Will we most likely overtake Israel tomorrow and move up to rank 28? Highly likely.

Positivity rate remains above 20 percent and ICU beds are at 81 percent utilization rate and isolation beds at 73 percent utilization rate as well.

There are 60 new deaths announced today.

Todays data drop showed NCR (4326), CALABARZON (1824), Central Luzon (995) and Cagayan Valley (586) account for 84 percent of the total cases for today.

In the National Capital Region, Quezon City and Manila continue to lead among the LGUs with 740 and 685 cases, respectively. Fourteen of the 17 LGUs in NCR were among the top 20 cities with the most cases.

On a provincial level, Cavite continued to lead with Rizal and Bulacan having more than 400 cases. All the top 10 provinces had triple digits.

242 new deaths for 04.07.2021

Tuesdays and Wednesdays regularly report lower cases. As mentioned before, there is a 2 days lag in the announcement of the Health Agency on new cases. Today they announced 6,414 new cases. However, the DOH also states that the reason why the numbers are low, is that the number of samples submitted for testing was also fewer last April 5, 2021.

The bad news is the announcement of deaths. From 1.7 percent case fatality rate, we now jump to 1.72 percent as 242 new deaths were reported today, bringing the total deaths past 14,000.

While the positivity rate is a bit lower at 18.2 percent, this is still relatively high for the country.

The healthcare capacity remains overwhelmed with ICU beds at 79 percent and isolation beds at 70 percent – both past the critical mark.

The growth in number of cases considerably declined in the National Capital Region, as reported by the OCTA group in their weekly Monitoring Update.

The reproduction number in the NCR decreased to 1.43 for the week of March 31 – April 6, while the reproduction number in the Philippines was up at 1.45. The average number of new COVID-19 cases reported per day in the NCR was 5,146 over the past week, with a one week growth rate of just 3 percent. During this period, the NCR is averaging 24,000 tests per day, 17 percent lower than the previous weeks average. This means that we are not seeing the complete picture with respect to growth rate and trends, and once data come in this week, there will be corrections in the findings.

OCTA Research, Philippine COVID-19 Update, April 7, 2021

The top ten regions/provinces in the country with new cases are provided in the table below. While new cases have decreased significantly in Cebu, cases in Isabela and Benguet have increased significantly. The ICU capacity in various regions and provinces in the top 10 have breached the critical level capacity (70 percent) set by the Health Agency.

Among the top 20 cities with highest cases in the Philippines, notice that many LGUs are seeing a slowing down in the growth rate. The highest growth rate in cases has shifted to some LGUs which have never seen significant rise of cases. These are: Muntinlupa City (48 percent) with the highest growth rate in all LGUs in the country followed by Dasmariñas City in Cavite (42 percent). ICU and bed occupancy are mostly past 80 percent in 13 of the 20 top cities.

NCR accounted for half the total cases for today with 3,211 cases. Together with CALABARZON (1,448), Central Luzon (607), and Cagayan Valley (446), these four regions hauled 84.4 percent of the cases for the day. There were 34 cases with unknown locations on a regional level, while 29 were ROFs.

In the National Capital Region, some of the LGUs were seeing lower cases today because of the lower samples tested in the country in general and in Mega Manila in particular. Thirteen of 17 LGUs in NCR were among the top twenty cities with most cases for the day.

On a provincial level, Cavite is back on top, with Laguna, Isabela, and Rizal with more than 300 but less than 400 cases.

382 new deaths reported on 04.06.2021

Today marks the highest number of deaths reported in a single day in the Philippines as the Health Agency announces 382 new deaths (of which 341 occurred prior to April 2021). The highest deaths recorded in the country were on two occasions – September 14, 2020 (258 deaths) and February 20, 2021 (239 deaths). As mentioned in past posts, deaths may take quite some time to occur because of the long duration of illness among those that are severe or critical. In addition, reported deaths are validated thoroughly and may take quite some time to report as due to COVID-19 as the cause of death or other co-morbid diseases.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays usually report lower cases. There were 9,373 new cases reported today, pushing the total cases now to 812,760. Note, however, that the positivity rate is still at 20 percent and the healthcare capacity is at an alarmingly high level. ICU beds are 82 percent occupied in the National Capital Region, while isolation beds are at 71 percent. On a national scale, the ICU beds are at 63 percent capacity already.

We will most likely overtake Sweden and settle for 29th spot after the 4PM count tomorrow. In the global tally below, at the rate the number of new cases are being reported daily, we will most likely overtake Portugal and Israel before this week ends.

NCR as usual posted the highest number of cases for the day with 3,768 new cases (or only 40.2 percent) for the day. CALABARZON had 1,613 (17.2 percent) and Central Luzon 946 (10.1 percent). It was Cagayan Valley (939 new cases) and CAR (824 new cases) that contributed to the haul for the day. These five regions in Luzon accounted for 86.4 percent of the total cases of the day.

In NCR, it was Quezon City that continued the lead with 906 cases followed by Manila (629). The surprise of the day? Muntinlupa City which reported 216 cases and shot up to 6th place among all cities in the Philippines including all LGUs in the Mega Manila. Thirteen of 17 LGUs were among the top 20 cities with most cases.

Isabela was the overall leader on a provincial level with 601 new cases, overtaking Cavite. Notice that the rankings on a provincial had significantly shifted to the northern part of Luzon, extending to Benguet, La Union, Cagayan and Mountain Province.

Day 8 of ECQ part 2…data drop for 04.05.2021

The Health Agency reports 8,355 new cases today, as the data for testing during the Holy Week are released. The data announced today were from testing done during the Holy Week (with some testing centers closed for the long holiday). Note that the number of tests done in the past few days are less than optimum, with the positivity rate at more than 20 percent for the past week. With the more than 8,000 new cases today, the Philippines has now breached the 800,000 mark.

The healthcare capacity, in spite hospitals opening additional beds is at a critical high with 79 percent ICU capacity and 72 percent isolation bed capacity in the National Capital Region. Notice, however, that the ICU beds in the Philippines has increased as well. It is now at 61 percent from a previous 51 percent occupancy in mid March, nationally.

The OCTA Monitoring Report showed that the reproduction number in the NCR had declined from 1.88 to 1.61 after one week of ECQ. The goal of a lockdown is meant to slow down the increase in new cases. With an additional week of strict ECQ, we can hopefully bring down the Rt to 1.0 (or anywhere near it).

The average number of new COVID-19 cases reported per day in the NCR was 5,538 over the past week, an increase of 20 percent compared to the previous week. The NCR as a whole is now on a period where the increase in new COVID-19 cases is slowing down. The moving average trend lines have started to level off.

OCTA Research Monitoring Report, Philippine COVID-19 Update, April 5, 2021

The table below show significant increases in the provinces of Laguna, Batangas and Pampanga. Only the province of Cebu has seen a significant decrease in daily new cases. In terms of ICU capacity, all top ten provinces are past the 70 percent critical level except for Batangas (65 percent) and Cebu (23 percent). Only Cebu has a positivity rate less than 10 percent for testing. All other provinces in the top 10 have a positivity rate ranging from 17-38 percent!

The top twenty LGUs with highest cases are in the table below. Makati and Pasay were the only LGUs that saw a negative change (decline) in daily new cases. Attack rates were highest, however, with Makati, Navotas, Mandaluyong and San Juan. Hospital bed occupancy is at critical levels in 15 of the 20 top LGUs. ICU occupancy is at critical levels in 14 of the top 20 LGUs in the list. Taguig, Mandaluyong, Antipolo, Imus and Cainta are at 100 percent ICU occupancy as of this writing.

What makes it difficult for ICU occupancy is the management of critically ill COVID-19 patients. They occupy ventilators longer and are managed in the intensive care for a significantly longer duration than nonCOVID patients. In addition, they also add to the challenge of healthcare worker manpower in the hospitals. When HCWs are infected because of the hazard from being exposed to ill patients, the healthcare system becomes overwhelmed and the quality of care becomes compromised during these difficult times.

The government should work at efforts at alleviating the burden of caring for mild (and some moderately ill) patients in hospitals by creating more isolation facilities dedicated to COVID19 cases alone. The healthcare staff caring for COVID19 patients should receive better pay and additional personal and health hazard benefits because of the antecedent risks when caring for patients with COVID.

Todays data showed NCR, CALABARZON, CAR, Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon grab the spotlight with 87 percent of the total cases for the day. Other regions with triple digits were: Ilocos Region, Western Visayas and Central Visayas. There were 40 cases with no tagged location on a regional level.

In the National Capital Region, where 46 percent of the total cases for today were from, Quezon City continued to dominate the numbers with close to one-third of the cases for Mega Manila. City of Manila had 423 cases. Those with more than 100 cases were: Taguig, Pasig, Makati, Parañaque, Caloocan, Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, and Valenzuela.

Thirteen of 17 LGUs in NCR were among the top 20 cities with most cases.

On a provincial level, Cavite and Isabela ruled the day. Cebu is no longer in the top 10 provinces. All the top ten provinces are found in Luzon.

The Easter Sunday data drop 04.04.2021

The Health Agency reports more than 40,000 new recoveries in the Easter Sunday recovery haul. New cases, however, totaled 11,028 new cases pushing the total a few thousand short of 800,000 cases. The positivity rate remains above 20 percent with fewer laboratories open during the long Holy Week holiday.

Hospitals in the National Capital Region are in filled beyond critical levels with ICU beds at 78 percent and isolation beds at 70 percent.

The surge in the country is now on its fourth week. Notice in the graph below as provided by the COVID-19 Tracker site of the Department of Health that the week on week cases from March 4-10, followed by March 11-17, then March 18-24, and March 25-31 saw the highest number of cases within the March 25-31 frame. However, with the growth of cases has significantly slowed down compared to the past three weeks. Nevertheless these are high still high numbers to contend with and will take time awhile before it can be brought down considering the fact that the current cases were exposures within the past two weeks.

Based on the actual cases, the Philippines recorded 71,603 cases from March 28-April 03, 2021, or a 7-day average of more than 10,000 new cases daily.

The daily positivity rate for the Philippines as of April 02, 2021 was higher than the highest positivity rate almost one year ago and only 161 or 208 laboratories submitting data on April 2, 2021.

Todays data drop showed NCR continue to lead with 51.2 percent (5,646 new cases) of the total. As usual, CALABARZON came in second with 2,038 (18.5 percent) and Central Luzon in third with 1,110 (10.1 percent) cases. These three regions continued to account for more than 80 percent of the total cases in the country.

Cagayan Valley and CAR contributed 547 and 506 cases each, respectively. Others with triple digits were: Ilocos Region, Central Visayas and Western Visayas. Sadly, there are 97 patients who were positive for the virus but had no tagged location on a regional level. It is cases like these that make it difficult to find where and who the patients are. Obviously, if you don’t know who and where they are from, there is no way you can do contact tracing.

In the NCR, Quezon City continued to dominate the daily haul with 1,158 new cases or 20.5 percent of the cases in Mega Manila for the day. Ironically, Quezon City had more cases than the whole of Central Luzon reported for April 4, 2021.

Two cities reported more than 600 cases: Manila and Caloocan City. Taguig had 502. Pasig with 432. Malabon and Parañaque had more than 300 but less than 400 cases. Makati, Mandaluyong, and Las Piñas had more than 200 but less than 300 cases. The following cities had more than 100 but less than 200 cases: Navotas, Pasay, San Juan and Marikina. Muntinlupa, Pateros and Valenzuela reported double digits.

Fourteen of 17 LGUs in NCR were in the top 20 cities with most cases.

On a provincial level, Cavite continued to lead in number of cases, followed by Rizal and Bulacan. The following provinces are seeing a rise in cases: Batangas, Isabela, Pampanga and La Union.