As the year draws to a close, the country is seeing slightly higher cases driven by a jump in the positivity rate and lower tests during the holiday season. This is primarily driven by Mega Manila that accounts for around 40% of the total daily cases.
The Health Agency reports 421 new cases today based on a paltry 18,122 tests done last December 26, with a positivity rate up at 2.6%. Note that a week ago, the positivity rate was at 0.9%. This pushes up the active cases to 9,750, with more than 56% presenting as moderate to critical. Majority of the new cases are mild cases. Only 5% of the active cases are asymptomatic.
Incidentally, 16 laboratories were unable to submit data, while 2 were non operational on December 26, making up 2.9% of all samples tested and 2.4% of positive individuals.
There are 2 deaths added today.
The NCR was responsible for 42% of the total cases in the country today and the only region with triple digits and is back on top as the region that is most unsettling. Notice, however, that CALABARZON and Central Luzon is seeing an upward bump also in its cases. The pattern is clear. When NCR jumps, so do Regions IVA and III.
Among provinces, it was the province of Bulacan that led with 25 cases and all other provinces in the top ten with double digits.
In NCR, it was the City of Manila that is now the epicenter of the cases in Mega Manila, with 66 new cases or 37.5% of the total cases in NCR. Four additional LGUs in NCR see double digits – Quezon City, Makati, Parañaque and Caloocan City. Among the top 10 LGUs in the Philippines, the fewest number of cases is 5.
OCTA RESEARCH MONITORING REPORT
The holiday revelry tests the resiliency of the densest region in the country – Mega Manila. With close to 14M people residing in an area of 660 square kilometer, this tiny region is the epicenter of the COVID-19 cases in the country. And with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, in spite of the mandatory work on December 24 and the upcoming 31st of the month (days that used to be holidays by decree of the President), the mobility of the region shot up to pre-pandemic levels.
And so did its COVID19 cases.
The average new cases jumped from 77 to 126/day, with the ADAR up at 0.89 and the Rt approaching 1.0. Positivity rate is also up at 1.68% from a previous low of 0.48%. While five LGUs remain at very low risk based on the metrics for classification of covidactnow.org, ten LGUs are now at low risk (up from very low risk), and two are at moderate risk due to an increase in reproduction number. These two LGUs at moderate risk are the City of Manila, which saw a 121% increase in cases, and an RT at 1.57. The City of San Juan also joined Manila in the moderate risk category with an ADAR of 4.53 (remember that San Juan is a very small city), and an Rt at 1.82, the highest among all the LGUs.