First of all, let’s rant about the Data Drop that is sorely missing from the Department of Health.
While it is understandable that perhaps a few of their personnel were sick with COVID-19 during the beginning of the omicron surge, I doubt that these same players are continuing a long haul of illness. If they are, they should be replaced because the Data Drop is important – not only to the data chasers like us, but also in the spirit of transparency on what is happening in the country.
While the COVID19 tracker of the DoH, that is available on its website, is accessible, the Data Drop is more comprehensive that it provides age, date of swabbing or onset of disease, date of death and when the deaths were reported, etc. These valuable information are important in how to model and project where this pandemic is leading to. After all, this kind of information should be shared by the government agency unless there is a different agenda in the last few months of the term of the president.
If there is noise that the media must make, it is this one. After all, they benefit from the projections provided by independent groups on how the country is doing in the pandemic and the various responses of the government.
There are 8702 new cases today based on 42,446 tests with 25.5% positivity last February 1 (Chinese Lunar New Year) which was a holiday. More recoveries than active cases bring down the active cases to 153,335 with almost 97% asymptomatic or mild at the time of testing.
Health care utilization in general is at low risk.
There are 71 deaths added today.
Western Visayas led among regions today with 1044 cases followed by Central Visayas 833, CALABARZON 794, Davao Region 789, NCR 724 and SOCCKSARGEN 714. All other region reported less than 600 cases.
In the NCR (which is seeing much fewer cases today compared to other regions), only two LGUs reported triple digits – Quezon City 129 and Manila with 120 cases. LGUs with 50-99 cases were: Makati (61), Parañaque (58), and Taguig (61). The rest had less than 50 cases, with 2 LGUs reporting single digit – San Juan 8 and Pateros 3.
Nationally, the LGU that had the most cases was Davao City that reported 298 cases followed by Cebu City with 218 cases.
There were 36 positive ROFs (returning overseas Filipinos) today.
OCTA Research data (manually painstakingly done by Prof. Guido David) shows how the NCR and CALBARZON provinces and certain areas in Luzon are doing in the current omicron surge. Notice that the positivity rate drops below 20% but remains high in NCR, Cavite, Quezon and Rizal. Reproduction rate is very low in all these areas as the growth rate continues its decline. ADAR is moderate in Batangas, Quezon and Rizal provinces.
In other HUCs (highly urbanized cities) in Luzon, notice also the decline in cases. However, the very scant testing is noticeable as the positivity rate is very high to severe in many of these HUCs. Puerto Princesa for example, has a positivity rate of 67% (or 2 in every 3 people tested are positive) and has a Rt that is at 1.73 in contrast to other HUCs in the country.