Let’s start off with answering the question – are the cases rising?
The answer, without a doubt is yes. The graph below alone will tell you the story of the pandemic in the Philippines.
While I usually show this graph on a weekend, let’s put things into the proper perspective. A week ago, our 7-day average was at 5,500 cases per day. Today, our 7-day average is at 6,032 new cases daily. That’s a 10% increase in cases over the week.
While NCR averaged around 600-700 new cases daily in the past weeks, it now averages almost 1,000 per day. An increase of almost 40%. Mega Manila has always been the major driver in the increase in cases in the country. A jump in this populous region brings the whole country to a halt. That’s because the healthcare system capacity is a finite one. We do not grow the healthcare industry overnight. And, while there may be more beds available, it is the health worker that needs to be augmented. When the health worker gets sick with COVID-19, those who have come in contact with that worker inevitably will not come to work as well. In a normal situation where COVID-19 is not a problem, when one health worker is sick, life in the hospitals do not come to a halt.
Arguably therefore, exhausting the health system before calling for a time out increases the burden and the demand in the health system.
This is why there is a need to prepare for the worst case scenario as our neighboring countries and the global data shows that increasing cases are being seen again in nations that have not only successfully vaccinated a greater percentage of its population but have reopened economies already only to have it tumble down once more because of the delta variant.
The Health Agency reports 5,742 new cases today for tests done last July 27 with a whopping 16.2% positivity rate in close to 50,000 tests done. Based on the infographics provided, there is a discrepancy in the number of new cases if we were to base it on the test results for the date indicated in the poster of the Department of Health.
There are higher number of cases compared to recoveries putting the active cases at more than 56,000.
The total new deaths is at 176. The case fatality ratio for outcomes is at 1.82%.
Notice however the ICU bed utilization which is up at 50% in the National Capital Region. This is up from a previous low ranging from 40-45%.
NCR continued to see increasing cases, accounting for close to 1/4 of the cases in the country today. And we’re back to the triumvirate of NCR + CALABARZON + Central Luzon as the top three regions with most cases. Both Central and Western Visayas reported more than 500 cases as well.
It was the province of Cebu that continued to lead on a provincial level with 559 new cases, followed by two provinces in Region IVA – Laguna and Cavite.
Among LGUs in the country, four of the top five LGUs with highest cases were from the NCR. Quezon City is back in first place, followed by Cebu City in second. In third to fifth are: Makati, Manila and Malabon. Eleven of 17 LGUs in the NCR are in the top twenty cities/municipalities with most cases today.
OCTA MONITORING REPORT
The July 29 National Update from OCTA shows that the national Rt is at 1.09. There is variability of the Rt (reproduction number) depending on the region or the LGU. The Rt in NCR is up from 1.33 a few days ago to 1.35.
Notice that based on the five indicators – infection (Rt), ADAR (incidence rate), HCUR (health care utilization rate), ICU (intensive care use) and testing (positivity rate) – Cagayan de Oro remains at critical risk. This is because it posted a 139% increase in new cases with 1.69 Rt, 88% usage of ICU and 25% positivity rate.
Key cities in Cebu are seeing higher Rt – Mandaue, Cebu City, and Lapu Lapu City.
Laoag has the highest incidence (Average Daily Attack Rate) at 60.56 per 100,000 population and the highest positivity rate in the country at 35%.
Healthcare utilization has exceeded 80% in Lapu Lapu City (Cebu province) and Mariveles (Bataan).
The rest of the report is seen below.