No frills. Just the facts and we’re just doubling each day.
The Health Agency announces 1,623 new cases (still under reported) based on close to 31,000 tests done last December 28 with a 6.6% positivity rate. The active cases are up at close to 12,000 with many ‘fresh’ asymptomatic and mild cases, that is now up at 53.6%.
There are 133 deaths added today.
NCR accounted for more than two-thirds of todays case load. And while it now has more than 1,000 new cases, the adjacent regions CALABARZON and Central Luzon are seeing an uptick in their cases as well. The same pattern is clear, when NCR hiccups, its contingent areas become affected quickly. It will not be surprising to see these regions with increasing cases after the New Year. Regions IVA and III report triple digits today.
On a provincial level, Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna, Rizal, and Batangas are back in the top ten.
But it is the picture at the LGU level that makes the difference, where ALL LGUs in NCR are in the top 20 LGUs with most cases in the country, except for Malabon. However, all LGUs in NCR, including Pateros that has been reporting zero COVID cases for the past week, report double digit cases.
The City of Manila and Quezon City take the lead with 351 and 171 new cases apiece, respectively. And with this data, the Rt of the City of Manila is now at a staggering 4.
OCTA MONITORING REPORT
When I say the numbers do not look good, I am not exaggerating. The OCTA Monitoring Report for December 30 shows a very steep trajectory of cases in Mega Manila, higher than the average daily cases over a month ago. And while we can go ahead and blame the dancing and prancing and holiday spirit, gatherings and reunions, one thing stands out clearly – the cases are up. Reproduction number its at 1.47 for Mega Manila, far higher than the national average. And the Rt is based on the reported cases (and we all know that there’s under reporting from the Health Agency).
Why is this of concern?
Primarily, the indicators pushed the NCR from very low risk status to moderate risk in a matter of just a week. Yes, 7 days. Some say that it was inevitable. I say, it was avoidable. 7-day average new cases are triple, testing is lower by 20%, the ADAR is up thrice, the positivity rate for testing is also up from 0.69% to 3.86%, and the Rt leapt thrice. While healthcare utilization rate is stable at just a 1% increase, we all know that HCUR is a lagging indicator.
The summary and recommendations may be a pill that’s difficult to swallow, as it is just a few hours before the New Year revelry. If plans need to change, then so be it. But I’m sure that even with the undercounting, many of the readers can relate to the fact that the rise in cases is real. And that your New Year plans have just been struck down.
For those who are still tagged “safe”, please, don’t waste a few hours of revelry on something we will all regret.