In spite of the awful data we’ve had in the last month, there is a silver lining to the lockdowns. Which makes this weekend end on a more hopeful note.
As the Health Agency reported 8,162 new cases, 109 new deaths and an astounding 20,509 new recoveries, this brings the total cases in the Philippines within a day close to the one million mark. There is no stopping the country in being the 26th nation with more than 1,000,000 cases (~1% of the population) tomorrow.
The case fatality ratio based on patients with outcomes (recovery or death) is now lower at 1.82 percent with the active cases lower at 7.7 percent (77,075 cases).
The weekend summary from April 19-25, 2021 showed 71,505 new cases, 977 new deaths and 124,965 new recoveries. This weekend (including today) had the most number of recoveries in a single week as reported by the Department of Health.
The number of cases weighed heavily on the testing capacity of the nation. While there were days where we tested more than 50,000 cases, most of the days were below that (in spite of the more than 230 testing centers in the country). The positivity rate averaged a high 20 percent for the week that was. In short, 1 in every 5 individuals tested would end up continuing to test positive.
There is a slight decline in the total number of new daily cases with a 7-day average of 9,049/day and new deaths at 124/day. With the OCTA Monitoring Update report below (as of April 25, 2021), note that the reproduction number for the country stands at 1.0 while in the NCR, the epicenter of the outbreak in the country is at 0.93. I will reiterate – the Rt SHOULD STAY BELOW 0.8 FOR THE NEXT 4 WEEKS, WITH NO DAY THAT SHOULD EXCEED 1.0.
It is important to note that other nations are also dealing with the global surge in cases. India, Thailand, Japan and Cambodia are resorting to some form of lockdown or quarantine in order to bring their sudden surge of cases to a standstill. Together with the Philippines, these neighboring countries are seeing surges in cases as well.
The NCR alone contributes to more than 40 percent of the total cases in the country in a single day. The objective will always be to make sure that this region, home to almost 15 million Filipinos that is the epicenter of both the outbreak in the pandemic and commerce, must continue to suppress its daily new cases CONSISTENTLY.
The average number of new COVID-19 cases reported per day in the NCR was 3,841 over the past week, with a one week growth rate of -20%. The current average is also 30% lower than the average of 5,552 during the peak of the surge three weeks ago. The moving average (blue) and trend lines (red) show a clear downward trajectory for new COVID-19 cases in the NCR. The positivity rate in the NCR over the past week was 19% from a average of 26.120 tests per day. Three weeks go, the positivity rate was as high as 25%. Hospital bed occupancy in the NCR decreased to 61% while ICU bed occupancy also decreased to 71%.Philippine COVID-19 Update, OCTA Monitoring Report, April 25, 2021
Among the top twenty LGUs with the most cases for the week April 18-24, 2021, all of the LGUs in Mega Manila are seeing a negative growth rate (or decline in cases). Hospital bed occupancy and ICU occupancy are significantly correlated with that decline. Only 5 of the LGUs in NCR have 100 percent capacity. As a matter of fact, Caloocan, Las Piñas, Valenzuela are below critical level for intensive care.
Outside of the “NCR plus bubble” is Pampanga. And Angeles City had a significant jump (+31%) in new COVID-19 cases daily. Pampanga province as a whole also had higher cases over the past week, up by 6% compared to the previous week. Batangas also had an increase of 24% from the previous week.