Unusually low 3K plus cases on 05.23.2021 will haunt us the coming days

Of course, it is good to know that the Health Agency reported only 3,083 cases today. Notice that the report is based on 13% positivity rate from close to 43,000 tested on May 21. This means that more than 5,500 tested positive that day. There were only 3 laboratories (accounting for 4.1% of the tested patients) that were not included. Even on the presumption that there were repeat tests of some patients on May 21, it would impossible that more than 40% were repeat tests. The Health Agency notes in that the low cases today are due to update of COVIDKaya. Several data were not included in todays case bulletin and currently being handled by the COVIDKaya technical team. I think we should expect the additional cases in the coming days after the technical glitch in COVIDKaya is remedied.

In the meantime, enjoy the low numbers, including the low deaths reported. With 38 new deaths, the case fatality ratio based on outcomes for today is a tad lower at 1.76%. This will adjust itself when the unaccounted data is added the next few days.

ICU bed utilization is higher again in Mega Manila compared to the national census. Of the more than 50,000 active cases, almost 5% were moderate, severe or critical at the time of testing.

And how we wish that NCR would really see only 613 cases a day. But that’s not going to happen anytime soon, yet, so enjoy the granular data below based on the 3,083 cases reported for the day.

While Quezon City remained the top hauler on a national level, it saw half the cases it would normally see and there were only 9 of 17 LGUs in NCR that were in the top 20 cities with most cases. Shockingly, Davao City took second spot for the day (based on incomplete data provided by the DoH).

On a provincial level, the under count was most prominently in the NCR, CALABARZON and Central Luzon regions because suddenly Negros Occidental and Davao del Sur were ranked first and second for the day.

As of May 21, 2021, the PH had 40,047 additional cases and 896 additional deaths for the period May 15-21, 2021.

The period May 15-21 wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t as impressive as well. The national reproduction number stayed flat at 0.85, which means that while it is below 1.0, we may be plateauing at the 6k level. The past weeks (during the period of ECQ and MECQ) saw a continued decline of cases, while the past week saw a stabilization of cases within the 6K range. Even deaths were erratic as the week saw an uptick in total deaths compared to the past week.

Testing in the country was between 40-50K on a good day. In spite of this, we were testing less this week compared to the past weeks. However, the positivity rate plateaued again around the 13% mark.

While our Asian neighbors are seeing troublesome numbers as well, we need to work at improving the various policies on how the pandemic is being handled in the Philippines. There is a need to thoroughly review what has been written down in 2020 and utilize lockdowns only as a tool of last resort when addressing surges. Vaccinations will always be the major tool out of the pandemic and the government must shuck all other useless policies and address vaccine hesitancy in the country and work at vaccine accessibility for the lower socioeconomic class who have no access to digital enrollment and screening methods. Because the vaccines are purchased by the National Government, LGUs must avoid making it difficult for every Juan to get immunized. Inclusivity should be the guiding factor in any vaccine roll out program.

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