It used to be called low Tuesdays. That’s because the data announced on Tuesdays are from tests done on a Sunday. Last August 8, only 33,070 tests were done. Driving a whopping 21.9% positivity rate! That meant, more than 1 in every 5 people tested, tested positive.
The Philippines has 8,560 new cases today and 92 new deaths announced. At the rate of new cases, we will most likely exceed 1.7M total COVID-19 cases on or before the weekend.
Active cases are close to 80,000 and ICU utilization is now teetering at the boundary of the critical level with utilization up both nationally and in the National Capital Region. Several private hospitals have already declared their COVID-19 facilities (bed and ICU) full.
We expect more cases the coming days as it is only day 5 of the Enhanced Community Quarantine. Locking down early may have its benefits. After all, things get worse before it gets better.
Where are we with testing?
One of the critical indicators in addressing a pandemic is the number of tests being done to identify positive cases. The ability to test quickly is important, particularly in the face of a fitter and faster variant. The delta variant has changed the way we need to improve our testing capacity, including releasing results as efficiently as possible so that we are able to do the next important step – contact tracing.
The infographic below (from the COVID-19 tracker website of the Department of Health), shows the positivity rate since the pandemic began in 2020. The highest positivity rate of the country was in March 29, 2020 with 1,080 testing positive from 4,687 samples tested. This was forgivable considering there were only a handful of testing centers then. With the commitment of the government, the number of testing laboratories are now more than 260.
The average testing daily in various waves the country has gone through has averaged 30K-50K daily. But the concern is the weekly positivity rate, which has significantly gone up in the last March surge with a peak on March 28, 2021 at 21.7%. While we were able to bring it down over the past months, notice how steep the rise in positivity rate is. This shows the direct correlation between the number of new cases daily with the positivity rate.
We need to bring the positivity rate down by testing more including those that we contact trace.
The NCR continued to record more than two thousand cases, while its annex regions CALABARZON and Central Luzon report quadruple digits as well. These three regions alone now own almost 60% of the total cases in the country today.
Cebu province has the most cases on a provincial level. Notice that the provinces annexed to NCR have high cases as well. Cavite and Bulacan came in second and third, respectively.
On a LGU level, Quezon City kept the lead with 586 cases. This city in NCR, accounted for more than 27% of the cases in Mega Manila for the day. It had more cases than the combined cases of Cebu City and the City of Manila. Eleven of 17 LGUs in NCR were in the top twenty today. For the first time, Cavite saw three of its provinces in the top twenty. They are: Bacoor, Dasmariñas, and Imus.
OCTA MONITORING REPORT
The data of August 3-9, 2021 shows that the current positivity rate is 19% (high) in the Philippines, with the positivity of NCR up at 15%. The reproduction numbers are also increased at 1.79 for NCR.
The top 40 LGUs are shown in the table below. Only 5 did not show an increase in cases for this period. All 35 LGUs showed increasing cases. The ADAR (average daily attack rate or incidence rate) is now critical in Cebu City, Makati City, Lapu Lapu City, Pasay City, Navotas, Malls, Laoag, Tuguegarao, Mariveles and Manolo Fortich (Bukidnon).
ICU capacity is critical in 9 LGUs, high in 10, and moderate in 4.