Over 8K cases and 145 new deaths, regions outside of NCR have healthcare facilities that are failing on 06.12.2021

The last time the PH breached the 8,000 mark was two weeks ago. Today the Health Agency reports 8,027 new cases, for over 52,000 tests done last June 10. In spite of having slightly more tests, the positivity rate remained over 13%. Without a doubt, we are not testing enough.

Troubling are the consistently higher new deaths reported, with 145 for today. This brings the case fatality ratio for outcomes steady at 1.82%. This is underestimated considering that the outcomes of more than 60,000 current active cases have not been resolved. Even if the Health Agency reports that almost 95.8% are mild or asymptomatic, this data is obtained AT THE TIME OF THE TEST. It does not reflect the ultimate outcome of patients and how many of them eventually progressed to moderate, severe, or critical. Deaths will always be reported much later, usually 4-8 weeks after the patients have died. As we tread higher numbers, expect more deaths to be announced in later dates.

The shocker of the day is the ranking for NCR, that has slipped significantly to fourth rank and accounted for only 10% of the new cases on Independence Day! On top is CALABARZON, followed by Western Visayas and Central Luzon. The continuing rise in cases in the regions is worrisome considering that this is the first time a region outside of NCR has registered quadruple cases.

While NCR has registered lower cases now, it is still Quezon City that continued to lead with close to 200 cases. Four cities/municipalities reported single digit numbers. Six of 17 LGUs in NCR were among the top twenty cities and municipalities with most cases.

With the high numbers in Western Visayas, the provinces of Negros Occidental, Iloilo and Negros Oriental ranked first to third today. Batangas and Laguna accounted for the bulk of cases in CALABARZON.

The city of Bacolod topped the cities with most cases in the Philippines, followed by Davao City. Quezon City for the first time, came in third. On a day with more than 8000 cases, the top five cities with most cases aside from Bacolod and Davao were Iloilo City and Dumaguete City. (Eight of 10 cities in the top ten were outside of NCR).

The OCTA Research Monitoring report for June 12, 2021 is divided into provinces and LGUs with most case cases.

In general, there was a minuscule decline in cases from June 5-11, the reproduction number for the country is >1.0. This is not good because it implies that we are plateauing at a very high daily average. This would mean that at an average of 6500 daily new cases, total new cases in a month would approximate to around 200,000. This is on the presumption that the reproduction rate stays at 1.0. There will be more than 1.4M cases on or before June 30 and while NCR now owns <15% of the total daily cases, 85% of the daily cases are scattered in regions that have lesser capacity for extensive health care and resources at managing COVID-19 cases – from quarantine to confinement to intensive care utilization.

Notice that during the beginning of the second surge, NCR plus accounted for 94% of the new cases from March 29 – April 4. Today, NCR plus (NCR, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal) account for around 27% of the new COVID-19 cases. The total population of the National Capital Region alone is around 14% of the population of the country. While the new cases now are more ‘controlled’ in Mega Manila, the return of people from the regions back into the NCR together with the increasing laxity in quarantine restrictions in NCR may pose a challenge to the gains made in Mega Manila, in spite of the vaccine roll out. Vaccines do not work immediately. There should be pacing when reopening the economy in the NCR as getting vaccinated and reopening economies simultaneously may prove to be a false sense of security and end up with an eventual rise in cases in NCR.

While it is NCR that led in the total average daily cases, several provinces in Visayas and Mindanao were seeing increasing rates and burdensome Healthcare Utilization Rates. Iloilo, Cagayan, Misamis Oriental, Negros Oriental and Agusan del Norte had HCURs >70%.

For the second week in a row, Davao City had more daily average cases than Quezon City. The growth in new cases in Davao City, however, has quickly slowed down. On a LGU level, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo City, General Santos, Taguig, Tuguegarao, Bacoor (Cavite), and Cotabato City are seeing Intensive Care Utilization Rates (ICURs) of more than 90%. Zamboanga City, Las Piñas, Koronadal, and Calamba (Laguna) are at more than 70%.

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