The hot zones, a positivity rate of 45%and the data for 01.22.2022

The cases remain above the 30000 mark as the numbers in NCR decline but are being offset by the rise in cases outside of Mega Manila.

The Health Agency announces 30,552 new cases based on more than 68,000 individuals tests with a positivity rate of 45.1% last January 20. With more recoveries than new cases, the active cases slow down a tad to a little above 280,000. More than 98% of the active cases were mild or asymptomatic at the time of testing.

Health care utilization is still at moderate levels in the NCR but is declining, while in the general trend is slightly up nationally, as the surge moves outside of the epicenter.

Total deaths added today are 97.

The NCR accounted for 21.8% of today’s cases with 6646. The major contributors to Mega Manila are: Quezon City 1217, Taguig 736, Parañaque 596, Manila 576, and Muntinlupa City 544. All other LGUs reported less than 500 cases with several now reported double digits. All are reporting lower cases, except for Muntinlupa City which seems to be having problems in controlling the surge in a locality of around 500,000 people.

In regions outside of NCR, Region 4a reports 6373 cases while Central Luzon had 2876. Other regions with more than 1000 cases include: CAR 1134, Ilocos 1653, Cagayan Valley 1140, Western Visayas 2003, Central Visayas 2269, Davao Region 1552, and Northern Mindanao 1052.

Returning Overseas Filipinos reported 138 positive COVID19 cases.

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Prof. Guido David drills down the Highly Urbanized Cities in the Philippines in the midst of the Omicron surge. While NCR continues to have very high cases, its growth rate has considerably slowed down and is now on a negative trajectory. The Rt is down to 1.38, which means that, in spite of the RT-PCR only reports being churned by the Health Agency, there is an actual decline in cases with ADAR at 84 per 100,000 population. On the other hand, other cities are seeing a significant rise in numbers, especially Baguio City with an ADAR of 153 per 100,000 population and Davao City which saw 1,376 new cases yesterday, to lead among all LGUs in the country with an Rt or 4.04.

Provinces in the Philippines at very high risk based on ADAR are in the infographic below.

The see saw in regions and the data for 01.21.2022

The Health Agency reports 32,744 new cases today based on more than 75,000 tests done with a 44% positivity rate (still staggeringly high) on January 19. With only a little more than 16000 recoveries, this brings the active cases up to past 291,000 as more than 98% of them are mild or asymptomatic. The total cases will exceed 3.4M by Sunday as the provinces pour in with more cases now.

Hospital utilization rate is moderate risk but has shifted in burden to the provinces as the national HCUR exceeds or approaches that of the NCR.

Additional 156 deaths are reported today.

The NCR continued the declining streak as it recorded 7279 new cases (22% of the total cases) led by Quezon City with 1260 cases. The LGU with most cases for the day? Davao City which had 1376 cases while Davao Region reported 1726 cases.

CALABARZON is seeing a slight decline in cases as well with 6749 cases, while Central Luzon is still on a upward trajectory for cases at 4402. Other regions with high cases include: CAR 1376, Ilocos 1667, Central Visayas 1911, Western Visayas 1782. The remaining regions are seeing increasing cases which are off-setting the lowering of cases in the NCR, accounting for the high numbers seen in the country.

Returning Overseas Filipinos reported 145 positives.

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From Prof. Guido David (with permission to share) are three infographics that provide a summary or snapshot on the current status of the pandemic.

  1. The NCR weekly growth rate has a steady decline (although some LGUs are performing worse than the rest). The data should be treated with some caution as these DO NOT include lateral flow assays (Rapid Antigen Tests) and have limited data in children because many parents refuse to have their children tests.
  2. The projected trend using the current data for the NCR, which is the epicenter of this difficult surge.
  3. The rise in cases outside of NCR, CALABARZON, and Central Luzon as the shift in cases is now in these regions. The problem with regions outside of NCR (plus) is that the vaccination rate is also lower and the healthcare systems in these areas may be less capacitated than within Mega Manila.

Past 3.3M COVID19 cases and the data for 01.20.2022

After two days of less than 30,000 cases, we are back at 31,139 new cases as announced by the Health Agency today. This is based on close to 74000 tests done with a positivity rate of 43.3% last January 18. Today’s numbers was enough to push the Philippines past the 3.3M mark and the active cases jump to more than 275,000 as there are more cases than recoveries reported.

The healthcare utilization is also up nationally compared to the National Capital Region, where the epicenter of the surge is.

There are 110 deaths added today.

The NCR owned for a lower percentage of the total cases with 9455 cases. This was led by Quezon City with 1639 cases and Taguig with 1126. The other cities with more than 500 cases include: Makati 811, City of Manila 772, Parañaque 692, Muntinlupa 583, Las Piñas 531, and Mandaluyong 511.

Regions outside of the NCR are seeing a higher share of the national cases now. CALABARZON leads with 7073 followed by Central Luzon with 2856 cases. Other regions with quadruple digits today are: Ilocos Region 1158, Cagayan 1014, Western Visayas 1772, Central Visayas 1704, and Davao Region 1066.

There are 127 ROFs (returning overseas foreigners) reported positive today.

From the plot provided by Prof. Guido David, the numbers in the NCR continue the gradual downward trajectory and while it is a slow one, one should not be complacent on the situation because Omicron still has room to infect others who have not been infected. YET.

The lower Wednesday (with backlog) and the data for 01.19.2022

Lower cases today than the previous day as the Health Agency reports 22,958 new cases and a large amount of recoveries to bring down the active cases to a little more than 270,000. More than 98% of the actives are asymptomatic or mild infections. With the additional cases, the PH will breach the 3.3M mark tomorrow.

Today’s report is based on 62,531 tests with a positivity rate of 43.5%.

Hospital utilization is still at moderate risk.

There are 82 additional deaths reported today.

The NCR had 8376 new cases today (or roughly 37% of the total cases in the country). This was led by Quezon City with 1835 cases and the only city with four digits. Makati came in second with 881, Parañaque in third with 673, Las Piñas in fourth with 666 and the city of Manila with a dramatic decline of 662 cases. Pasig had 505 cases today while the rest of the LGUs in NCR report less than 500 cases. Only Malabon had double digits with 82 cases.

Outside NCR, CALABARZON continued to lead with 5204 cases (Cavite 1813, Rizal 1266, Laguna 1135, Batangas 719, while the remaining are the other provinces). Central Luzon is in second with 2087 cases. In the Visayas, Western Visayas takes the lead with 1129 cases (dominated by Iloilo province) followed by Central Visayas with 1026 (dominated by Cebu City with 506 or almost half the cases today).

In Mindanao, Davao Region led with most cases by region with 468 cases (dominated by Davao City with 278 or more than half of the total).

There were 79 Returning Overseas Filipinos that were positive in today’s report.

Data from Prof. Guido David (you gotta give it to the guy who’s manually counting these with numbers because of the absence of the Data Drop upload) is shown in the infographic below.

Notice that the growth in NCR (while still increasing) has eased. The ADAR remains high at 111.47 per 100,000 population and the R has slowed down to a little more than 2.0.

The data, however, isn’t as rosy in the provinces and regions outside of the NCR where while the number of new cases may be small (compared to Mega Manila), their growth rates are disproportional and are seeing the same growth rate that NCR saw 3 weeks ago. They have only just begun.

The highest ADAR now belongs to Baguio City which also is seeing an R of 4.28.

Thank God for low Tuesdays and the data for 01.18.2022

It’s the low Tuesday with 28,471 new cases reported from the agency based on 51,738 tests with a positivity rate of 43.4% on January 16. There are more than 6000 backlog cases added to today’s numbers. With more recoveries than cases, the active cases dip a tad to 284,458 with more than 98% mild or asymptomatic.

Health care utilization remains at moderate risk.

There are 34 additional deaths today.

The National Capital Region accounted for 35.6% of the total cases today with 10,147 of the 28,471 total. While Quezon City continued to lead with 2008 cases, Taguig City came in second with 1120 cases and the City of Manila in third with 974. The dark horse that may likely displace these cities and is seeing a dramatic rise in cases is the city of Muntinlupa the recorded a high of 838 cases – mostly coming from the plush villages in the city.

Elsewhere outside of NCR, region IVA (CALABARZON) remained in second with 6914 cases followed by Central Luzon with 3028. Cagayan Valley reported 1206 cases, Central Visayas with 1121, and CAR with 1118. There are 114 ROFs with positive tests today.

37,070 to start the week and the data for 01.17.2022

This week begins with the Health Agency announcing 37,070 new cases based on 77,410 individuals tests with a positivity rate of 46% last January 15. In reality, there’s just about 35,000 cases today, but the testing backlogs had to get reported as well. And with the numbers today, the active case jump to almost 300,000 cases with around 98% of them as mild or asymptomatic at the time of swabbing.

Hospital utilization in terms of ward beds and ICU beds is at moderate risk both nationally and in the National Capital Region.

There are 23 additional deaths today.

The NCR seems to be accounting for a lower percentage of the cases from a previous staggering 70% of the total share to just 37% of the country’s share with 13,543 new cases today led by Quezon City with 2,842 cases, Pasig with 1400, and the City of Manila with 1,210.

Elsewhere, it is CALABARZON that is catching up to the share of the country’s total cases as it reports 9362 new cases today followed by Central Luzon with 4261. Other regions seeing new highs are: CAR (1438), Ilocos (1401), Central Visayas (1297) and Western Visayas (1225).

Worst in Southeast Asia and the data for 01.16.2022

It wasn’t really a very bad day as the Health Agency reports 37,154 new cases based on 81,381 tests with a positivity rate of 47.4%. As the recoveries comes in, the active cases are held slightly in check with more than 287,000 of them. Close to 98% are asymptomatic or mild.

With today’s additional cases, the Philippines now passes the 3.2M mark for total number of COVID-19 cases documented by RT-PCR as officially reported by the Department of Health.

In spite of the large number of daily cases, the hospital utilization rate is kept at moderate risk both nationally and in Mega Manila.

There are 50 added deaths today.

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

From hero to zero.

That’s the story of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines. While some would say that it may not be fair to call out the government response as to how we got from a few hundred cases to innumerable cases and a positivity rate that has skyrocketed beyond the country’s testing capacity, let’s just call a spade a spade.

Were we unprepared? Most likely, complacency got the best of us. As December approached and we saw a dramatic decline in cases, we were all prepared to embrace a sense of normalcy once more. After all, it has been quite some time that we’ve been moving from plan A to plan B to plan C to plan D.

Of course, we can always shift the blame to Omicron, the inevitable variant of concern that is highly transmissible in more ways than one. But as a people, we were partly responsible for getting to where we are today. And that, is water under the bridge.

The Philippines landed 13th rank among nations in the world with most cases yesterday, January 15, 2022. In Southeast Asia, the first spot officially goes to our country. The needle-rise pattern of cases which began in the National Capital Region in the Philippines has been responsible for the fourth and dramatic surge in the country. With cases averaging close to 20,000 a day in Mega Manila (not counting those who do not undergo PCR, because the Department of Health only reports PCR confirmed cases), the testing facilities have backlogs of 2-3 days now.

During the first week of the month, NCR accounted for more than 70% of the cases in the country. Over the past days, it has declined to a little less than 50% of the total share. While that may be some good news, the bad news is that with rising numbers, the shift in cases is now in the regions outside of Mega Manila.

Like fire that burns in the center, the rampage now moves to the periphery.

The sad part is that, while the NCR has (according the the government) vaccine coverage of around 90% with at least one dose, this is not the same situation in the provinces and regions outside of imperial Manila. Vaccinating these more vulnerable sectors in the areas that have recently been hit by natural calamity will be extremely challenging as the virus rapidly expands to these areas much faster than the vaccination program of the government.

Another record high and the data for 01.15.2022

The Health Agency has had no data drop for the last few days and of course are staying silent on this matter. After all, it is not an obligation of theirs and we will just need to trust them on the reliability and validity of information provided to the public. Like the positivity rate that has already reached close to 50%, the data is a blur and you cannot expect to provide validated proof that the pandemic is under control if you cannot vet the information.

The Health Agency announces 39,004 new cases (another record high) with the recoveries from the haul 10 days ago coming in. This is based on close to 79,000 tests done with a positivity rate of 47.1% last January 13. The mild and asymptomatic remain the bulk of the cases at the time of testing. The country will pass the 3.2M mark by tomorrow. Active cases are still above 280,000.

Additional 43 deaths are announced today.

The NCR accounted for 47% of todays cases – an almost 3% drop from yesterday, in spite of the 18,422 cases today. If the share continues decline, this is a sign that Mega Manila is peaking. Quezon City continued to lead the region with 3901 cases and Pasig came in second with 1829 cases, followed by the City of Manila with 1782 and Makati City with 1418.

Outside the NCR, CALABARZON is seeing a tremendous rise in cases as they come in second over-all nationally with 9401 cases. This is followed by Central Luzon with 3373, Western Visayas with 1027, Cagayan Valley with 1002, and Central Visayas with 976.

There are 121 ROF (returning overseas Filipinos) that were reported positive today.

Here is the updated data drop for today January 15, 2022:

By region:

Top 10 provinces: Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, Bulacan and Batangas seeing quadruple digits.

By top 20 LGUs with 14 of 17 LGUs in NCR in the top 20 and 8 of the NCR LGUs reporting quadruple digits:

The breakdown for NCR alone:

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The IATF has also approved the following new guidelines in isolation, quarantine and testing. I hope they create a group chat among themselves in order to make sure that they have policies that align with various agencies of the government. For one, the Social Security System and Philhealth require that in order to make health and disability claims, one needs to demonstrate proof that one indeed was positive for SARS-CoV-2. That’s one reason why people flock to the testing sites because of this. It’s like one hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing and that is duplicity with our contributions provided to the government.

A streak of new record highs and the data for 01.14.2022

There are no words to describe how we got from a few hundred cases to new record highs in a span of less than a month. Of course, we will always say it was inevitable. As to how we got here – it’s really water under the bridge.

The Health Agency announces 37,207 new cases based on close to 82,000 tests with a positivity rate that’s impossibly unbelievable at 47.3% done last January 12. At this point, all data are blurred already and the likelihood of symptomatic individuals testing positive will most likely be closer to 95%. Of the active cases, 98.2% of them are mild or asymptomatic. This puts around 95% of all active cases as mild at the time of testing.

The country now quickly passes the 3.1M mark in a matter of days as the number of cases continue to escalate.

Hospital utilization rate remains moderate risk in the NCR and nationally. And as mentioned, because hospitalization is a lagging indicator and that many healthcare workers are also sick, this may be an under report. Sadly, there is no more data drop provided by the DoH, but one can log on to their website and access regional, provincial and LGU information by going to the COVID19 tracker.

81 additional deaths are announced today.

Because there has been no data drop (and I don’t think there will be until the DoH increases its server capacity), here’s a rundown on the numbers of the day:

  1. NCR had 17,081 new cases or 49% of the total (lower now significantly compared to the previous week) with Quezon City leading at 3970 and the City of Manila in second at 1065. This MAY be an indication that the numbers in NCR may be slowing down. Note that these numbers are based on validated RT-PCR tests and do not include antigen tests from laboratories or from self-testing (albeit, illegally at home).
  2. The other regions that are climbing are CALABARZON with 8740 new cases and Central Luzon with 4137 new cases today. Region 2 is in third with 1088 cases.
  3. Other regions that reported more than 500 cases but less than 1000 are: Region 1 (939), Region 5 (701), Region 6 (825), Region 7 (737),and Region 8 (509). All other regions report less than 500 cases today
  4. There are 139 Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) with positive cases – an extremely high number from a previous 2 daily cases.

New record high and the data for 01.13.2022

The Health Agency reports 34,021 new cases based on almost 79,000 tests with 47.9% positivity for January 11, 2022. The active cases jump to almost 240,000 with 98% of the cases being mild and asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis.

Hospital utilization remains at moderate risk.

There are 82 new deaths today.

NCR registered 17,069 new cases today accounting for half the cases in the country. There’s now a rise in cases outside of NCR as the other half belong to the ‘others’. CALABARZON was second with more than 7000 cases while in third is Central Luzon with more than 3000.

OCTA RESEARCH MONITORING REPORT

The infographic below is graphic and self-explanatory as these areas are now in critical situations. In the NCR, that is driving the pandemic numbers, positivity tests have surpassed 50%. This means that the data is now blurred and that the situation on the ground for contact tracing has become useless. This is because the DoH does not include patients who do lateral flow assays (RAT – rapid antigen tests) in the count. We are now blind to the real numbers and real situation on who are positive but asymptomatic or who have mild symptoms and are not being tested. The situation is dire because even the PCR results are not delayed by 72-96 hours. This situation makes PCR testing information become useless for documentation purposes.