Will we see an uptick after the holidays (?) and the data for 12.26.2021

For the second day in a row, the cases are more than 400 as the Health Agency announces 433 new cases today. With fewer recoveries, the active cases are now at more than 9500. Todays numbers are based on a very low 21,116 tests done last December 24 with 2% positivity rate.

Thirteen deaths are added today.

NCR accounted for more than 50% of the cases in the country today with the City of Manila owning almost 28% of the cases in Mega Manila. Eight LGUs in NCR posted double digit cases.

Even the top 10 provinces continued to see low cases (<20) compared to NCR.

All LGUs in the top ten recorded double digit numbers today and all except the City of Manila and Quezon City recorded less than 20 cases. The fewest number of cases in the top 10 LGUs today was 11.

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

This year’s surge was a test of how variants can change the pandemic response game plan. As vaccines and therapeutics came into the picture, so did mutations in SARS-COV-2. And a game changer they were, as Delta and Omicron merged to become a perfect storm, overtaking gains in the discovery of vaccines. The bugs were (or should I say, are) one step ahead of humans, as the evolve for the same purpose we do – self-preservation.

After the discovery of Omicron in late November, the speed and stealth of this newest variant has upended the holiday season in many countries worldwide – particularly Northern America and Europe.

Back in Asia, that grappled through the summer with Delta, most of the countries are seeing a slowing down in their new COVID-19 cases. Other Asian countries are seeing an increase in numbers but are able to considerably manage a disproportionate surge.

It’s been a relatively stable week for the Philippines. It is important to remember, that considering the infectivity and course of disease for SARS-COV-2, the current data is reflection of being infected anywhere between the past 3-14 days. The Philippines continued to maintain a low 7-day average of cases, but the Health Agency couldn’t seem to grapple with how it would handle the delayed death reports as the data on deaths take a see saw swing the past months.

Compared to other select Asian nations, the Philippines is now second to the lowest in new cases (based on a 7-day average) in the region, but because of the unstable accounting on deaths, is in fourth spot among the same select countries. Vietnam has the highest cases and deaths per capita compared to all the other Asian nations. It is also the reason why Vietnam, once the darling of control for COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic by shutting its borders, is now last of 53 nations in the Bloomberg Resiliency Index.

The parameters on new cases, tests, positivity rate per capita and the current reproduction rate shows that the Philippines is holding up pre-holiday season data.

Reproduction rate in the same select Asian nations show that Japan is now up at 1.37. Note that Japan used to enjoy double digit cases, but is now seeing an average of 250-300 new daily cases, most likely due to the seasonal drift. While the Philippines may currently have the lowest reproduction number, it is Singapore that did an amazing job at being able to bring down its Rt to 0.57 in just a matter of 6 weeks. f course, arguably, it is much easier to contain a pandemic in a population of less than 6 million than in one where the population size is more than 110 million.

Anything can change drastically and dramatically in a week. The next report will come on a Sunday, a day after 2021 ends. How will the data hold up?

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