Lower cases on 07.25.2021, but an increasing trend over the past week

The Health Agency reports lower new cases today with close to 5,500. Since the recoveries and new cases are almost the same, the number of active cases remain high at over 54,000. Today’s report is based on 47,000 tests done on July 23, with a 13.1% positivity rate. Notice in the week in review summary below that the testing capacity for the week has been significantly lower with an over-all increase in the average positivity rate.

There are 93 new deaths and the case fatality ratio for outcomes remains at 1.82%.

While the cases may be fewer today, Mega Manila is on the rise as it accounts for almost 20% of the total cases for the day.

It is the province of Cebu that continued to lead today, with Ilocos Norte and Davao del Sur behind her.

On the LGU level, Cebu City has overtaken Davao City to rank first and second place among the top twenty. There are eight of 17 LGUs in NCR that are back in the top 20 rankings as these LGUs see rising cases in the community.

OCTA MONITORING REPORT

The updated OCTA report shows Cagayan de Oro in an over-all critical situation with a 109% increase in cases, and over indicators of infection , ICU utilization and positivity tests at the critical level. The other critical LGU is Mariveles. While it showed a decline in percentage of cases, its Rt = 1.45 and the ADAR is at 33.53/100,000 population. Other LGUs considered high risk are Davao City, Cebu City, Iloilo City, Makati, Lapu Lapu, General Santos, Baguio, Laoag, Mandaue, Las Piñas, and Valenzuela.

The full report in indicated below.

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

However you look at it, the average new daily cases from July 18-24 was on a rise in the Philippines. The 7-day average is up at close to 6,000 daily cases from a previous 5,000. And while the deaths may have taken a nose dive, this is attributable to a glitch in the system of the Health Agency, with a corrected report of piling up all 241 cases for July 23 and 24 on the 24th.

The above data on the uptick in cases is because of the rise in cases in the National Capital Region and Central Visayas. Testing capacity is down and there is a sudden rise in positivity rate. The perfect correlation to the increasing cases noted this week.

Elsewhere in select countries in Asia, many nations are seeing increasing reproduction rates (all are above 1.0) including the Philippines. Last week, I reported that we were the only country that had a Rt < 1.0. What a difference a week made. Indonesia is seeing a gradual decline in cases this week, while spotty outbreaks in Singapore and breakthrough infections among those who are fully vaccinated drive their Rt to almost 3.0, with the Delta Variant predominantly circulating in the community.

Most countries have begun their vaccination programs, with Singapore leading globally in having most people vaccinated. With a country of a little less than 6Million people, this isn’t quite a difficult job to jab. But here’s a quick look at the variants circulating in these countries where vaccination has also ramped up significantly. The main difference is in the outcome of deaths, where those with less vaccinated populations have higher mortalities among the unvaccinated compared to those who are vaccinated.

The more difficult challenge is how to roll out those vaccines, achieve an immune response (takes 2-4 weeks after 2 doses or 1 dose if you’re getting the J&J vaccine) and reopen the economy. For now, the economic sector will have to take a back seat and wait till we get to the point where the greater majority have been vaccinated, before we can even resort to easing lockdowns. The only way to accelerate this is to get the jabs into the arms as quickly as possible.

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