-5% growth rate and a lower R and the data for 09.19.2021

It wasn’t really good news, but we will take the less than 20,000 new cases as we see the cases decline slowly and the reproduction number hold steady a little above 1.0.

The Health Agency announces 19,271 new cases today and with more than 25,000 recoveries, the active cases are a little less than 180,000.

More than 70,000 tests on September 17 show the positivity rate at 25.1% a slight improvement from the previous days.

There are 205 new deaths announced. Case fatality ratio for outcomes is steady at 1.7%.

In the NCR alone, the data from Prof. Guido David shows the negative growth rates in the NCR in the past days. As in yesterday’s blog, there is a pattern that shows that Mega Manila may have attained peaks in daily cases, but the effort at holding on to this momentum should be sustainable. Rushing to open too much of the economy can result in a dramatic overturning of the painful gains made so far.

NCR continued its second day streak for lower than usual expected range of cases (25-30%). The 4,748 reported cases accounted for 24.6% of the total of NCR. Three other regions had quadruple digits: CALABARZON, Central Luzon, and Davao Region. All other regions reported triple numbers.

On a provincial level, Cavite was back in the lead with quadruple digits.

Thirteen of the 17 LGUs in NCR were among the top twenty cities/municipalities with most cases today. Three LGUs from CALABARZON were in the top twenty list as well.

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

The 7-day average of cases is at a high of almost 21,000 daily cases and 7-day average of deaths is greater than 200 daily. While the R has slowed down (see graph below) on a national scale, the R is still >1.0. Which means that we are most likely plateauing (and this should be interpreted with caution) and are likely peaking as well.

Tests are lower this week compared to the last week, which throws the positivity rate to an all time high. The high positive rate adds to the large uncertainty on the direction of the surge because there are too many red flags that with increased mobility, the high positive rate is an indicator that the poor testing may be a driver for higher numbers in a few weeks.

With continued increasing cases, the Philippines has now managed to shove its way to the front of the pack as the epicenter in the ASEAN region. Notice that it now leads the pack as all countries, except for the Philippines and Singapore are seeing higher 7-day averages.

The outbreak in Singapore has placed it in a precarious position in the region with R that is up at close to 2.0. While they may have much fewer cases numerically, based on the size of the population, the increase in cases tips the balance of the reproduction number. Singapore leads in highest reproduction rate and will not see a decline until a few weeks later as for the first time since their first surge, the breach the 1,000 new cases in a single day.

Many countries have now managed to vaccinate more than 60% of the population. The countries that have been able to achieve this are mostly higher income nations. Note the difference between those countries and those in the lower middle income and lower income classes. The delta variant is a force to reckon with as many nations now have to deal with vaccination and the dominant variant concern spreading globally.

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