425 new cases and the data for 11.30.2021

The last day of the month of November 2021 has the Health Agency announcing 425 new cases today – our lowest since June 02, 2020 when we had 359 cases.The Philippines now has a 7-day average of less than 750 new cases/day (this including backlogs). As reported yesterday, the data in NCR is real-time and is the reason why Mega Manila data is reliable.

The data today is based on 24,442 tests done last November 28, with 2.1% positivity rate. Active cases are at 15,800 with almost half of them moderate to critically ill.

There are 44 additional deaths announced today (with a lot of backlogs in outcome of active cases still being unaccounted for).

The NCR reported its lowest number since the pandemic with 66 cases today, or 15.5% of the total cases in the country. This was followed by Cagayan Valley and CALABARZON with 48 and 46 cases respectively. Five regions reported single digit cases.

On a provincial level, all provinces in the top 10 had less than 30 cases, with Zamboanga del Sur and Benguet in the lead.

Zamboanga City led on an LGU level with 24 cases, while Quezon City had only 18. Eight of 17 LGUs in NCR were in the top 20. Notice that the fewest cases in the top list today is 3 and there are multiple cities from North to South of the country with very low single digit cases. In NCR, 4 LGUs reported zero (0) cases – Malabon, ParaƱaque, Marikina and Pateros.

Analyzing the active cases and the data for 11.29.2021

The week begins with 665 new cases, an all time low. The last time we saw cases this low as July 13, 2020 when the country recorded 653 cases. Today’s data is based on over 32,000 tests with 2.1% positivity rate (also an all time low). Active cases are slightly down to 16,289, but more than 46% are still moderate to critical. The analysis for this is in the white paper below.

There are 141 newly announced deaths.

NCR led today’s numbers with more than 25% of the total cases or 164 of the 665 cases today. It is also NCR that is real-time while the rest of the regions have delayed reports. The data today for NCR is accurate, but cannot be said with all the regions.

Zamboanga del Sur had the most cases on a provincial level, with all provinces in the top 10 having less than 50 cases.

Even if Quezon City takes back the lead among LGUs, none of the top 20 cities/municipalities had more than 50 cases. Only 6 LGUs reported double digits while the rest of the LGUs in the top 20 were all single digit cases, with 5 cases being the least number for the day.


This white paper most likely has been shared several times on social media (Twitter or Facebook) since yesterday. It’s an analysis of the active cases of the Health Agency as of November 27, 2021. There are a few things that the reader is advised when going through the data provided. (1) This is data from the daily Data Drop of the Department of Health. (For those knowledgeable about the Data Drop, it provides the whole excel data sheet of the cases including whether they have been resolved or not.) (2) The Health Agency will most likely need to depend on the Local Government Units for information on the outcomes of the active patients. Patients who may present initially as asymptomatic or mild can progress to more critical states or recover spontaneously. There is no way we can track that unless the patients are followed up on a day to day basis – something that is apparently not seen on the Data Drop. Remember, the classification of the condition of the active case is at the time of testing. (3) Backlogs in unresolved cases go way back to 2020. While it is understandable that more severe or critical cases (at the onset) may have longer hospital stays, it is highly unlikely that their outcomes would remain unresolved after 30-60 days.

As provided in the table below, there are over 1,200 cases in 2020 that have had no outcomes yet. We do no know if they are dead or alive. For the 2020 data, there are still 294 patients initially tagged as asymptomatic or mild who have had no resolution on outcome. For the moderate to critical, 1,124 cases remain in limbo.

The same interpretation can be made for the data in the first half of the year and from the third quarter (July to September 2021). The third quarter has the largest bulk of unresolved cases classified under moderate to critical. These remain unreconciled as of the publication of the white paper.

Triple digit week, the week in review and the data for 11.28.2021

The Health Agency announces 863 new cases today as the number of deaths continue to record triple digits at 156 for the day. This is based on more than 34,000 tests with a positivity rate of 2.4% on November 26.

Number of active cases are down to a little more than 16,000 with close to 45% moderate to critical in status.

While the NCR continued to record the highest cases among the regions (it is after all the densest in the country) accounting for almost 20% of the total number in the country today, other regions continued to report double digits. Only BARMM reported single digit cases.

Even on a provincial level, none of the provinces reported more than 50 cases, with Negros Oriental having the most cases.

Zamboanga City continued to lead among LGUs with highest cases, while 8 of 17 LGUs in NCR were in the top 20 cities/municipalities with most cases for today. The fewest cases in the top 20 was 8. With LGUs reporting less than 40 cases and many LGUs reporting 10 cases and less, will we touch the 500 mark this coming week?


It wasn’t a bad week for the Philippines and many Asian nations. In spite of the news of Omicron as the new variant of concern emanating from Africa and now found in other parts of Europe and Hong Kong, here’s a run down on the week that was.

The 7-day average is down to around 1000 cases/day while deaths are still in the three digit numbers due to the backlogs and late death reports from the Health Agency. Many of these deaths were still months back and not real-time.

Over-all, was a good week as the positivity rate and hospital utilization rate continued to drop. The reproduction number stayed at a decent 0.7 (+/- 0.05), and has been <1.0 for the past month. As long as there is no rise in this number, we will continue to see triple digit trends in cases for December (sadly, as well as deaths because of the backlogs).

The country is faring incredibly well compared to select Asian countries. Although Singapore is seeing a large dip in its reproduction rate from 0.9 to 0.76, the slight increase in Ro of other countries just points to the fact that low numbers are stable (and will stay that way hopefully as long as we continue to accelerate vaccination and observe health protocols in spite getting vaccinated).

On a per capita basis (cases and deaths per million), Singapore continues to take the lead (but there are more cases reported for Vietnam one should remember that Singapore is a tiny nation with less than 6M people). The Philippines joined Indonesia in reporting single digit cases per million population as it recorded 9 new case/M population for its 7-day rolling average.

Unfortunately with the backlogs, the Philippines continued its lead on death reports in these select Asian nations with 1.70/M deaths.

With the global reaction to Omicron, it is best that we remain vigilant and not get too excited at reopening the borders too broadly. There will be some sacrifices we will need to make, and some of them will need to weigh benefits over risk. For now, because of the many unknowns on Omicron, erring on the side of caution is the way to go.

Preparing for a storm – whether it arrives or not – will always be the most prudent action.

Get vaccinated. And keep practicing minimum health standards.

The situation may look safe now, until you test positive.

Triple digits towards the weekend – in cases and deaths – and the data for 11.27.2021

It’s another straight day for triple digits, in both cases and deaths, as the Health Agency reports 899 new cases based on more than 37,000 tests done last November 25 with a 2.4% positivity rate. The active cases are still around 17,000 with close to 45% of them being moderate to critical. And as the announcement for deaths continues to come in aliquots, there are 188 new deaths announced today, bringing the case fatality rate for outcomes to 1.71%.

Today’s number of cases brings the 7-day average to around 1,000 (or less) new cases/day.

Hospital utilization rate both nationally and in Mega Manila are now below 27%.

The NCR owned 161 of the 899 or 17.9% of the total national cases. Two other regions reported triple digits – Zamboanga Peninsula and CALABARZON. However, the data from Zamboanga Peninsula were actually late reports. More than 60% of the data from Zamboanga were from September 2021.

This accounts for why Zamboanga del Sur was number one among provinces and Zamboanga City reporting 105 cases today, when in actuality, there were only 37 recent positive patients from November 14-25.

Nine of 17 LGUs in NCR were in the top 20 LGUs with most cases. With 7 cases as the least number of cases in the top 20, this means that if your LGU had 7 cases, it would be in the top 20 list.

Continuing triple digits on cases (and deaths) and the data of 11.26.2021

As the world watches B.1.1.529 (most likely to be called Nu Variant) in harried anticipation, the Health Agency reports 863 new cases based on close to 39,000 tests done last November 24 with a positivity of 2.5%. Active cases remain stagnant as more cases than recoveries are reported today.

An additional 142 deaths were announced, bringing the cases past the 48,000 mark.

B.1.1.529 emanated from Botswana and was identified on November 9. It has spread to its neighboring country South Africa, which is now seeing a 10-20 fold rise in cases from its low triple digit numbers. Aside from South Africa, it has also been reported in Hong Kong (from a traveler from South Africa) and lately in Israel and Belgium. Because of this new variant (which has not been classified as concern or interest) there is a need to speed up the vaccination process and protect the borders of the country as South Africa and Hong Kong are currently classified by the IATF as “green country”, allowing travelers from these nations to arrive locally with no quarantine being required. There needs to be an immediate shift in policies with this information being driven by concern from various nations.

Only NCR recorded triple digits today with 183 cases or 21% of the total share of the national cases today. The rest of the regions in the country report double digits.

Isabela, however, had the most cases among provinces. Nevertheless, all provinces report double numbers today.

On an LGU level, 11 of 17 LGUs in NCR are in the top 20 as the number of cases in the country ease down. Not one LGU in the top 20 list had more than 50 cases, including Quezon City. The least cases in the list was down to 7 – meaning if your LGU reported 7 cases, it would be included in the top 20.

B.1.1.529 – what do we know so far?

  1. It contains 32 spike protein mutations implying that the current vaccines available may not be as protective as with other variants of concern in the past. Mutations on the spike are potentially more problematic in that it can evade immunity and increased transmissibility. As to whether it can cause more severe disease is unknown.
  2. Because of the high number of mutations, the nature of this variant may have come from a chronically ill individual where the coronavirus had survived and allowed to mutate to this extent. Because HIV is predominantly seen in Africa, it is possible that this mutation had emanated from someone with this illness.
  3. So far, the global cases are low. With 3 being reported in Botswana (all fully vaccinated), 53 in South Africa and two in Hong Kong (from travelers from South Africa). (update: Israel and Belgium have reported cases as well)
  4. The World Health Organization has classified this variant as a variant under monitoring last Wednesday and are meeting to weigh in on the impact of this new variant. (update: the WHO has classified this as a Variant of Concern and is now designated as Omicron)

975 cases and 193 deaths and the data of 11.25.2021

With close to 39,000 tests done last November 23 and a positivity rate of 2.8%, 975 new cases were announced today by the Health Agency. The active cases remain above 17,000 with more than 40% being moderate to critically ill.

Of the 17,796 active cases, more than 20% are severe or critically ill. As to how many of them are backlog data (those who do not have outcomes yet) is most likely the reason for the high deaths being reported daily.

There are 193 new deaths announced today.

NCR had a decent 187 new cases today (accounting for around 19% of the national total), with CALABARZON in second spot, driven by the province of Rizal in general and the City of Antipolo in particular. Only Mega Manila and CALABARZON reported triple digits today.

Eight of 17 LGUs in NCR were among the top twenty cities with most cases today as the fewest number of cases in the top 20 list is at 8. This means that if your LGU had 8 cases, it would be part of the list. And it is good seeing single digits in the top 20 list.

890 cases and 200 deaths and the data for 11.24.2021

With more than 32,000 tests done on November 22, Monday, a positivity of 2.5% was recorded.

The Health Agency reports 890 new cases today, with active cases down to less than 18000. Of the active cases, more than 40% are now moderate to critical.

There are 200 additional deaths announced today.

As the cases in the country continue to decline, CALABARZON owned the larger share of the total cases today with 248 cases while NCR shifted to second rank. Only these two regions reported triple digits with all the rest of the remaining regions reporting either double or single digit cases.

CALABARZON’s rank was led by the provinces of Rizal and Cavite dominating the provincial level.

Among LGUs, it was the city of Antipolo that had the most cases among cities and municipalities in the Philippines today as it recorded 89 new cases. Seven of the 17 LGUs in NCR are in the top 20 list. The fewest number of cases in the top 20 today was 7. Meaning if your LGU had 7 or more cases, you’d automatically be in the top 20.

The 4-digit dump on Tuesday and the data for 11.23.2021

You’d think that with only 25,562 tests done on November 21 and a positivity rate of 2.3% we’d actually have only a little less than 600 cases today. With backlogs still unaccounted for, what better day to report them than the usual low Tuesdays.

The Health Agency reports 1,153 new cases (including backlogs) today.

It’s another day that didn’t add up, but of course, that’s information privy to the Health Agency. Notice that yesterday, the DoH announced 2,826,853 total cases. With their total of 2,827,820 cases as of today, that’s a difference of 967. So where did the additional 186 come from? Such discombobulated arithmetic is confusing.

An additional 195 deaths were added today.

The NCR had 314 new cases today, or 27.2% of the total cases in the country today. With backlogs in cases hounding the agency, the already late data is not reliable as it is. Other regions with triple digits include CALABARZON, Ilocos Region and Central Luzon.

Only three provinces had more than 50 cases – Negros Occidental, Cavite and Ilocos Sur.

Taguig City broke all records among LGUs with 104 cases today. In short, 1 in 3 cases reported today in NCR were from Taguig. Nine of 17 LGUs in the NCR were in the top 20 list. The fewest cases in the top 20 was 10. Meaning if your LGU recorded 10 cases, it would be included in today’s list.

984 new cases to start the week and the data for 11.22.2021

This week will be a test as to whether the Philippines will begin reporting more days with triple digits than the low quadruple digits in the past week. The 7-day average as of yesterday’s data was 1,349 new cases/day. Will we achieve a 7-day average of triple digits at the end of this week or not?

The Health Agency reports 984 new cases based on 35,901 tests done last November 20 and a positivity rate of 2.8%. This brings the active cases down to less than 20,000. Of those that are still recorded as active cases, close to 40% are moderate to critical.

Additional 218 new deaths were announced today.

The NCR accounted for a lower end 17% of the total cases reported in the country today. Cagayan Valley and CALABARZON reported triple digits as well.

The provinces of Isabela and Pangasinan were the top provinces that reported the most cases on a provincial level today, having more than 50 cases apiece.

On an LGU level, it was Quezon City that continued to lead the pack with 44 cases or 26.2% of the total cases in the NCR. Only 6 of the 17 LGUs in NCR were in the top 20 list as 11 LGUs in Mega Manila report single digits.

2,227 with backlogs to end the week and the data for 11.21.2021

With backlogs coming in, the Health Agency reports 2,227 new cases today, the highest since November 10. The data, however, is not in congruence with the number of tests done from November 19 where close to 40,000 tests yielded a positivity rate of 2.8%. The total number of new cases today would actually have been less than 1,000. But with data backlogs, the Department of Health will need to reconcile these and will need to report it. When corrected, we should start seeing lower cases the week after.

The number of active cases are a little over 21,000 while the number of deaths added are 175, bringing the total deaths to more than 47,000 and the highest in the region for the past 7 days.

With backlogs added today, the total in the NCR is up at 429 new cases. CALABARZON AND Central Luzon have 351 additional cases apiece, while Cagayan Valley reported 211 new cases. The surprise of the day was SOCCSKSARGEN that jumped to 5th rank with 175 cases.

Isabela, South Cotabato and Bulacan led the provinces with triple digits today.

On an LGU level, Quezon City takes back the lead with more than 21% of the total cases in NCR. Three LGUs in Cotabato province and 2 in Isabela are among the top 20 list, together with 7 of 17 LGUs in the NCR.


It was another good week as cases continued to decrease to < 1,500 for the 7 day average. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the same story with the deaths, as the 7-day average death rate continued to climb.

While the Philippines is doing considerably well in terms of new cases with 12.99 cases/M population (per capita) among select Asian nations, it is doing worst in terms of deaths – with 2.14 deaths/M population due to COVID-19. The highest among the same select Asian nations.

A snapshot on summary of cases, tests, positivity rate and reproduction number shows the Philippines on a declining trajectory.

Compared to the other select Asian countries, we’re doing quite well and staying steady between 1000-1500 cases this week, with lower positivity rates in tests, and a reproduction number that touches 0.5.

How will the upcoming week fare?