Another better week and the data for 11.07.2021

The weekend ends with 2,605 new cases announced by the Health Agency based on 48.450 tests done last November 5 with a 5.2% positivity rate. This puts us a few cases lower than the previous day. With slightly more recoveries than cases, the active cases are down to a little more than 33,000.

There were 191 new deaths announced today, pushing the 7-day average deaths to still greater than 200/day and the case fatality rate for outcomes at 1.59%.

The NCR logged 409 new cases today, accounting for 15.7% of the total cases in the country. Three regions reported more than 200 but less than 300 cases. They are: Cagayan Valley, CALABARZON, and CAR.

Isabela had the highest cases on a provincial level. Three other provinces reported triple digits – Negros Oriental, Davao del Sur, and Negros Occidental.

Zamboanga City took back the lead from Quezon City and was the only LGU that registered triple digits with 106 cases today. Ten of 17 LGUs in NCR were in the top 20 LGUs with most cases. The fewest cases in the top 20 list was 18 cases. This meant that if your LGU had 18 or more cases, your city/municipality would be part of the top 20. Six LGUs in Northern Luzon were in the top 20 list.

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen number of cases hit the 1,500 mark. Of course, majority of the cases are still from the National Capital Region. And yes, the positivity rate is still moderately high considering that we’re still not testing enough. But the week that ended relatively well and while the number of deaths average more than 200/day, the new cases dipped to less than 2,500 for the 7-days average as of November 6, 2021. There’s still more work to be done at bringing the cases even lower to triple digits, but the trend shows that we can.

It is, without a doubt, impossible to achieve ZERO COVID-19. But we can bring the cases as low as possible. In select Asian countries, Singapore took the weekly lead with 560 cases/M (per capita). The Philippines fell lowest among these select Asian nations to 34 cases/M population. Only Indonesia and Japan had single digit. It was a different story for deaths, however. Based again on a per capita (size of the population), Singapore led with 2.3 deaths/M, while the Philippines came in second with 1.9 deaths/M. While other countries like Indonesia may have numerically more deaths, this is not the case if you based it on the population size of the country. And the excess deaths have not even been factored in.

The infographic below shows the over-all status of the Philippines in the Delta surge. Cases have dropped and while testing has declined, so has positivity test rate. Even the reproduction rate is at an all time low at 0.63 (+/- 0.05).

Using the same parameters above in the same select Asian nations, the graph below shows how we stand compared to these countries.

Reproduction rate is highest now in South Korea as its R hits 1.24 and is seeing a rise in cases, followed by Vietnam and Singapore. The Philippines has the lowest R in the ASEAN community while it plays second fiddle to Japan, that is enjoying triple digits with R<0.5 (0.37). If the Philippines an keep an R<0.5 for 4 straight weeks, we will see numbers falls significantly. The problem is that in order to achieve this, two things must happen: (1) we must vaccinate a greater majority of the ADULT population (especially the working class), and (2) stay in Alert Level 3 even if we can be considered low risk in various indicators (ADAR, Rt, ICU utilization, and positivity tests). With the last quarter of the year at hand, it would be painful to remain at a strict lockdown because the economy will suffer. If we can get people to just even do number (1), then the metrics will turn in favor of opening the economy with less reservations.

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