Let’s start with the data released by the Health Agency for today. With 6,979 new cases, the Philippines has a 7-day average of 7,200 new cases/day, lower than the previous weeks. With NCR plus bubble as the epicenter of the outbreak in the country, the decline in cases in the Mega Manila has significantly brought down the number of new and total cases.
There were more than 10,000 recoveries and 170 new deaths reported today. This brings the case fatality ratio for outcomes to 1.77 percent. The active cases are down 5.8% today and it is a breath of fresh air to see the positivity rate trend less than 15% for the past few days with more than 50,000 tests being done. While the DoH points out that the ICU capacity is lower now in the NCR, it is unsettling that the ICU capacity has stayed at 63% nationally – which means that other regions who now account for more than 70% of the cases outside of the NCR are on the brink of a health care crisis in this second surge.
The OCTA Research has released, for the second day in a row, an update on the status of the National Capital Region, the hospital occupancy, regional status and the status of cities with most cases.
As the reproduction number in the NCR continues on a decline, the current daily average is 58 percent less marking the third consecutive week with a greater than 20% decline in cases. At this trend, the NCR is “expected to have less than 2,000 new cases daily by May 14.” But this is not a reason to put our guards down or reboot the economy because these are still high levels to contend with. We need to temper the decline in cases by correlating it with hospital bed occupancy and utilization of intensive care units. Note that the ICU utilization “for COVID-19 remained high, with 846 ICUs in the NCR occupied.”
On a provincial level, the top twenty provinces with the most number of new cases for May 1-7 are tabulated. “While the trend in the NCR is stable, the trend in Laguna is not. There was an increase in new cases in Calamba. Outside the NCR ‘bubble’, the following are considered areas of concern due to a rise in new COVID-19 cases: Cagayan de Oro, Puerto Princesa and Bacolod. Hospital bed and ICU occupancy for COVID-19 remained high in Baguio City, Tuguegarao, Cainta, Antipolo, Zamboanga City and Calamba.
Among the top 28 LGUs, Quezon City continued to lead but there is a decline in cases by 21%. All LGUs in the NCR are seeing lower cases except for Muntinlupa City, which is the lone LGU in Mega Manila that saw a rise of 11%.
Today’s data drop showed NCR accounting for less total cases (28.8%) compared to the previous weeks and as projected by OCTA, if the Rt continues its downward trajectory, should see less than 2,000 cases before the middle of the month. NCR + CALABARZON + Central Luzon continue to contribute to 60% of the country’s total cases.
In Mega Manila, new cases are lower in each LGU except for Muntinlupa which is seeing an unprecedented increase in numbers the last week. Eleven of 17 cities in the NCR are among the top twenty cities in the country for the day.
Four of five provinces in the CALABARZON region remain in the top ten provinces with most cases, with Laguna and Rizal in the lead. Laguna is being dragged to the top because of increasing cases in the city of Calamba.