Low risk for NCR and Region IVa and the data for 02.18.2022

The Health Agency reports 2232 new cases based on almost 30K tests with a positivity rate of 9.1% done last February 16. With slowing down of new cases, recoveries now almost follow the new daily cases. Hence the active cases are at around 65K with 93% of them being asymptomatic or mild at the time of testing.

Based on the DoH, 95% of today’s cases occurred within the last two weeks. Top regions in the recent two weeks were NCR, CALABARZON and Central Visayas.

There are 79 deaths announced today with only 16 occurring this February and 32 last January 2022. The remaining 39% were deaths from September to November 2021.

There were 100 duplicated removed from the total case count and of these, 95 are recoveries. Seventy cases previously tagged as recoveries were actually deaths after final validation.

The NCR continued to top the regions with 396 (17.7%) of the total cases today. This is followed by CALABARZON (252), Central Visayas (228), Central Luzon (189), Western Visayas (176), Davao Region (140), SOCCSKARGEN (124), Cagayan Valley (122), Ilocos Region (114), and CAR (113). All other regions reported double digit cases.

There are 25 ROFs who had positive results today.

In NCR, numbers were lower for some LGUs but some had higher cases than yesterday. Quezon City led the haul today with 77 cases followed by Manila 65, and Parañaque 41. All other LGUs reported less than 30 cases with 4 LGUs reporting single digit. The latter were: Malabon 7, Marikina 9, Navotas 8, and San Juan 4. Pateros is on a consecutive streak with ZERO COVID reported.

Highly urbanized cities (HUCs) outside of NCR with highest cases was Davao City with 78 cases and led the country with highest cases among all LGUs. Cebu City came in second with 68 cases today.

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Data from Prof. Guido David in behalf of OCTA Research shows that NCR and all provinces in Region IVa showing low risk for these areas. With the continuing decline in growth, the ADAR is lowest in the province of Quezon at 0.64. Effective Rt is very low in all these areas. It is only the positivity rate that remains moderate in NCR and all provinces in CALABARZON, EXCEPT the province of Quezon where the positive rate is <5%.

Health care utilization rate continues to be very low risk for all areas except for Batangas which remains at low risk with 31% utilization rate.

2196 cases and 9.7% positivity and the data for 02.17.2022

The Health Agency announces 2196 new cases based on close to 30K cases with 9.7% positivity rate last February 15. Of the announced cases today, 95% occurred in the last 2 weeks with NCR, Western Visayas and CALABARZON topping the regions.

The active cases now drop to a little more than 66K with 93% being asymptomatic or mild at the time of swabbing.

Sadly, 107 deaths are added today. Of the deaths noted today, 70 occurred in February (and that’s a lot), 19 in January 2022. The rest (or 17%) occurred in June to December 2021.

The NCR accounted for 18% (398) of the country’s cases today. This was followed by Western Visayas 308, Central Visayas 231, CALABARZON 229, Davao Region 176, Central Luzon 154 and Northern Mindanao 108. All other regions reported double digit cases today.

There were 15 ROFs (returning overseas Filipinos) that were positive for COVID19.

In the NCR, all LGUs reported double or single digit, except for Pateros that reported ZERO case. The City of Manila led the pack with 70 cases followed by Quezon City with 57, Pasay City with 37. LGUs with more than 10 but less than 30 cases were: Caloocan (27), Las Piñas (18), Makati (29), Malabon (10), Mandaluyong (28), Muntinlupa (10), Parañaque (28), Pasig (29), Valenzuela (16) and Taguig (20).

LGUs with single digit were: Marikina (8), Navotas (4), and San Juan (7).

HUCs (highly urbanized cities) outside of NCR showed Davao City with 63 cases followed by Negros Occidental with 56, Cebu City 55, Negros Oriental 47, and Iloilo City with 41 cases.

NCR & Reg IVa positivity rates continue to decline and the data for 02.16.2022

The Health Agency announces 2671 new cases based on more than 25K tests done last February 14. However, this is the first time that the positivity rate tips below the 10% level with a 9.6% positivity rate today. With more recoveries than active cases, the active cases now drop to a little above 68K (with more than 93% being asymptomatic or mild). Of the new cases today, 98% occurred in the last two weeks, with NCR, CALABARZON and Central Luzon leading the regions with most cases.

There are 77 deaths added today. However, only 63% of today’s announced deaths occurred in January (16 or 21%) and February (32 or 42%). The remaining 37% were deaths that happened from May to December 2021.

The NCR had a spike in cases today jumping more than 100% from yesterday’s 301 cases to 632 cases today. Which meant that NCR owned 24% of the total cases today. Other regions with triple digits were: Ilocos (138), Central Luzon (289), CALABARZON (327), Western Visayas (270), Central Visayas (171), Zamboanga Peninsula (100), Davao Region (128), and SOCCSKARGEN (154). All other regions reported double digit numbers.

There were 24 ROFs that were positive today.

In the NCR, it was Quezon City that reported triple digits with 114 cases. This was followed by Manila 82, Makati 52, Taguig 50 and 56 UNKNOWN. All other LGUs reported less than 50 cases, with only 3 LGUs reporting single digit – Malabon 9, San Juan 8, and Pateros 3.

HUCs with high cases today were: Iloilo City 64, Davao City 48, Cebu City 30 and Baguio City 24.

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Prof. Guido David (through OCTA Research) provides information on the positivity rates in NCR and all provinces in Region IVA (CALABARZON). As the numbers in both NCR and CALABARZON continue the decline, only Batangas remains in moderate risk because of the relatively higher Health Care Utilization Rate (36%) and a 10% positivity rate. The rest, however, are at low risk with the province of Quezon having an ADAR <1, Rt of 0.19, HCUR at 9% and positivity at 4%!

How many HUCs are doing and the data for 02.15.2022

The Health Agency announces 2010 new cases with a positivity rate of 10.4% from 20K plus tests done last February 13. The positivity rate is still high as it is over the 10% mark. Of the cases today only 78% occurred in the past 2 weeks are reported today. Top regions were: NCR, CALABARZON and Western Visayas.

The number of actives drop to 72K, with 93.5% being mild to asymptomatic at the time of testing.

Of the 52 deaths ALL (100%) occurred in January and February 2022 (with 56% occurring in February vs 44% in January).

There are 12 duplicates removed from the total case count. Of these, 9 are recoveries.

There were 34 cases previously tagged as recoveries but reclassified as deaths after final validation.

NCR will always account for a majority of the daily haul of COVID19 cases, because of its inherent capacity to test and of the larger population in the smallest region in the country. Today, Mega Manila had 301 cases (15%). Other regions with triple digits were CALABARZON (230), Western Visayas (205), Central Visayas (193), CAR (179), Davao Region (173), Central Luzon (156), and SOCCKSARGEN (106). All remaining regions reported double digits.

Sixteen ROFs were included among today’s positives.

In NCR, the following LGUs reported more than 20 cases: City of Manila (51), Quezon City (46), Pasay City (29), Makati and Parañaque (26) each, and Muntinlupa (23). All the rest had either <20 cases but double digit numbers. There were 5 LGUs with single digit: Malabon (7), Marikina (7), Navotas (2), San Juan (4) and Valenzuela (8). Pateros had ZERO case.

HUCs (highly urbanized cities) outside of NCR saw Davao City with 80, Baguio City with 61, Cebu City with 44 and Iloilo City with 35 cases today.

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OCTA RESEARCH MONITORING REPORT

Based on the data provided by Prof. Guido David, the risk level for NCR and Central Luzon has considerably improved and shows that NCR, together with majority of the provinces in Central Luzon are now at low risk in various variables: ADAR, Rt, healthcare utilization rate. Only positivity rate remains moderate to very high in all (except for the province of Zambales), which shows us testing in these areas.

For the leading HUCs (highly urbanized cities) in the country, majority are at moderate risk, except for Iloilo City that remains as high risk. The ADAR of Baguio City and Iloilo City remain high, while Lucena and Olongapo are now low. The reproduction rate is very low for all the HUCs except for Puerto Princesa which is low. Health care utilization rate impacts on Iloilo City the most, followed by Tacloban City and Zamboanga City. The positivity rate is all over the wall. Which puts each HUC anywhere from low risk (Angeles, Lucena and Olongapo), moderate (NCR, Bacolod, Cebu City, Dagupan, Lapu Lapu City, and Tacloban City), high (Baguio City, Cagayan de Oro, Davao City, Mandaue, Isabela, and Zamboanga City) and very high (Butuan, Cotabato City, General Santos, Iligan City, Iloilo City, Naga City, Ormoc, and Puerto Princesa)

Hello Monday and the data for 02.14.2022

The Health Agency reports 2730 new cases based on 28620 tests and 10.7% positivity rate last February 12. Of the cases today, 2627 or 96% of the cases today were within the last 2 weeks. Top regions with most cases were NCR, CALABARZON and Central Visayas in this interval.

Active cases drop to a little more than 76,000 as the cases continue to decline, with almost 94% of the active being asymptomatic or mild at the time of testing.

The shocker on Valentine’s Day 2022 are the 164 deaths. Note that of the 164 – 52% or 86 occurred in February while 52 (32%) in January. The remaining 16% were from July to December 2021.

There were 68 duplicates removed from the total case count. Of these, 52 are recoveries. There were 121 cases previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation.

As the third week of February opens, it is NCR that continued to haul in 18% of the total cases or 485 of the 2730 for the day. The positivity rate in the NCR is at 8%, slightly lower than the national positivity rate of 10.7%. Other regions with more than 200 cases are: CALABARZON (345), Western Visayas (266), Central Visayas (294), and Davao Region (285). All other regions reported either less than 200 cases per region or double digits. Those with double digits were: BARMM (32), CARAGA (49), Cagayan Valley (94), MIMAROPA (20), Bicol (30), Eastern Visayas (41), Zamboanga Peninsula (69), and Northern Mindanao (98).

In the NCR, only Quezon City continued to haul in triple digits with 108 cases today. The City of Manila reported 69 cases, while the rest of the LGUs in NCR had less than 50 cases with four LGUs reporting single digit – Malabon (6), Navotas (7), San Juan (5) and Pateros (2).

HUCs (highly urbanized cities) with more than 50 cases today were: Davao City (97), Cebu City (78) and Baguio City (74).

There were 30 ROFs (returning overseas Filipinos) who tested positive.

Tomorrow is a Tuesday…let’s hope the Tuesdays remain a good run for low days…

Omicron wave in Asia and the data for 02.13.2022

The Health Agency reports 3050 new cases based on 31,402 tests with 11.7% positivity last February 11. Of the reported cases today 99% occurred within the last 2 weeks with NCR, Western Visayas and CALABARZON leading the top 3.

There were 138 duplicates removed from the total case count – 64 of who were recoveries.

While there is ZERO death reported today, this is due to technical glitches in extracting data from COVIDKaya and is NOT the a reflection on deaths at all today.

NCR owned 18% of the total cases today with 558 new cases. Other regions with 300 or more cases were: CALABARZON (313), Western Visayas (367) and Central Visayas (300). Other regions reported 100-299 cases, while 5 regions had double digits. These latter regions were: BARMM (45), MIMAROPA (38), Bicol Region (42), Eastern Visayas (48), and Zamboanga Peninsula (90).

In the NCR, the City of Manila led among all LGUs with 107 cases and was the only LGU in Mega Manila to report triple digits. Quezon City had 98, followed by Makati with 81. All the rest either had less than 50 cases or single digit. The cities with single digit in NCR were: Malabon (9), Marikina (8), Navotas (4), San Juan (8) and Pateros (1).

Outside of NCR, only Davao City was the HCU (highly urbanized city) that had triple digits – 110.

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From OCTA RESEARCH [Prof. Guido David shares] the rundown of risk levels for highly urbanized cities in the Visayas as of February 12. While there is a decline in the weekly growth, the positivity rate in Iloilo City (1 in 4 testing positive) and Ormoc (1 in 2 testing positive) are at severe risk. Health care utilization is a moderate risk for Iloilo City and Tacloban (>50%), while ADAR (average daily attack rate) remains high in Cebu City, Iloilo City and Lapu Lapu (>10 per 100,000 population). While the reproduction number remains less than 0.5 in many areas, the decline may be due to the limited testing that is being done (many doing rapid antigen tests and not captured by the government) and testing only when patients need to be hospitalized for either COVID or nonCOVID cases (eventually ending up as + for SARS-CoV-2).

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

The Philippines continued its downward trend in cases, but unlike the delta wave, this downward trend did not coincide with a concomitant drop in positivity rate. As a matter of fact, the positivity rate in the country remains around 15% (considered high) with an average of 35K tests done daily. This trend of a high positivity rate in spite of a quick, sharp decline in cases is seen in almost all countries affected by the omicron wave. This translates to two things: (1) There will continue to have community transmission but until we meet a threshold that allows ‘comfortably’ stable at the positivity rate AND number of daily cases. (2) Eventually, that number will allow us to ‘live’ with the virus AND that we will eventually stop tabulating the numbers and return to ‘business as usual’ gradually.

The deaths remain high for this lower number of daily cases, as only 60% are recent (occurred in the month of February) while a large chunk are still being reconciled from 2021 to January 2022.

The reproduction rate is generally lower in the Philippines at 0.53 (+/- 0.05) as of February 9. Which means that the decline will most likely continue till the end of the month, but due to the positivity rate, this will reach a threshold or baseline for the omicron wave. This pattern in decline of cases and reproduction rate is very similar to South Africa and UK and in many parts of the world who are settling from the omicron wave.

In the meantime, many countries in Southeast Asia, including northern Asia are seeing the start of their omicron surge. Japan leads in the surge with an average of 95K daily cases, followed by South Korea and Indonesia. Vietnam and Malaysia that saw a slight decline in the past month are seeing an upward trend in cases. The surprise in the group is Hong Kong, which recorded more than 1000 new cases yesterday. The small nation that is under receivership from China is battling its worst surge as it struggles to align with China’s ZERO COVID policy.

In terms of number of cases per capita, however, note that it is Singapore and South Korea that lead among all countries in the region. Only the Philippines and Hong Kong are seeing double digits at 47 per million and 44 per million, respectively.

The effective reproduction number is highest for South Korea and Singapore, and all nations except for the Philippines with Rt >1.0. Japan, while owning the highest cases in the region has a positivity rate of 44% as of February 10. South Korea has a positivity rate of 18%. Vietnam owns the highest positivity rate in the region at 50% (meaning 1 in 2 test positivity). As omicron rages on, the effective reproduction rate may not translate to the actual situation in the respective countries as testing takes a back seat in how the pandemic is addressed.

Seriously, wherever Bloomberg Resiliency Index or Nikkei COVID19 Recovery Index put the Philippines (in the lower bottom of the rung), the country is in a much better place and is handling the pandemic much better than the rest. And while no country can be similar to another in how it manages the pandemic, with the current data, we need to strengthen vaccination in the provinces and other regions where vaccine hesitancy is still high. The economic struggle is real and needs to be addressed, now that we most likely have this under control.

The data next week will should tell us many stories – and that includes the strategy on how to welcome Filipinos to the ‘new normal’.

As positivity rate remains high, stuck between 3-5K and the data for 02.12.2022

The Health Agency announces 3792 new cases today based on 32,067 tests with a positivity rate of 14.3% on February 10. This brings down the active cases to a little over 84K as there are more than 10K recoveries today. Notice, however, that the cases buzz around the 3-5K mark due to the high positivity rate. Theoretically, if the positivity rate remains more than 10% and we average 30K tests daily, then the daily new cases will always be above 3K. The only way we will see triple digits is if the positivity rate drops to <5%.

Of the 3792 cases today, 96% occurred in the last two week, with NCR, Western Visayas and Davao Region leading the haul.

There are 76 deaths announced today – 66% occurring in February (50), 7% last January (5) and the remaining were from April to December last 2021.

The NCR led with 562 (15%) of the total cases today. This was followed by Western Visayas 408, CALABARZON 337, Davao Region 335, and Central Visayas 328. Other regions reporting more than 100 but less than 300 cases were: CAR (250), Cagayan Valley (214), Central Luzon (286), Ilocos Region (150), Zamboanga Peninsula (153), Northern Mindanao (176) and SOCCSKARGEN (194). Only BARMM, CARAGA, MIMAROPA, Bicol and Eastern Visayas reported double digits.

In the NCR, only Quezon City reported triple digits today with 123 cases followed by the City of Manila with 82. All other LGUs in NCR had double or single digits but less than 50 cases. Those with single digit cases were: Malabon (4), Navotas (2), San Juan (5), and Pateros (2).

Outside of NCR, Davao City took the lead among HUCs (highly urbanized cities) with 114 cases today. This was followed by Cebu City with 92 and Zamboanga City with 87.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I hope the public understands that it single day celebration in crowded indoor dining isn’t worth the risk of getting infected with COVID19. It is a fair reminder that while vaccines work at preventing severe disease, they do not work as well at preventing infections particularly for Omicron. Let’s make it austere, safe, yet meaningful.

3788 new cases, 14.7% and 72 deaths… and the data for 02.11.2022

The Health Agency reports 3788 new cases today, based on 32795 tests with a positivity rate of 14.7% last February 9. Note that this percentage is still considerably high as testing shifts to hospital settings, those with symptoms and high risk groups (A1, A2 and A3). Unlike the delta surge last year, where the positivity rate dropped significantly concomitantly with the positivity rate, this one is going down quite slowly. The positivity rate is keeping these numbers between 3-4K and may continue until the positivity rate drops to <10%.

Of the new cases reported today, 97% occurred within the last two weeks. NCR, Western Visayas and Davao Region led the haul.

Active cases hover above 90,000, with almost 95% of them being mild or asymptomatic at the time of testing.

While health care utilization rate is at low risk in both the NCR and most of the areas around the country, there are 72 deaths announced today.

Of the 72 deaths, 76% occurred in January and February 2022. The rest were from June to December 2021.

Top regions with most cases were NCR with 486, Western Visayas 463, and Davao Region 459. CALABARZON reported 371 cases and Central Visayas had 370. All other regions had less than 200 cases with four regions seeing double digits today. They are: BARMM (31), MIMAROPA (44), Bicol (43) and Eastern Visayas (75).

In the NCR, ALL LGUs reported double or single digit cases. This was led by the City of Manila with 91, Quezon City with 90 and the City of Makati with 49 cases. All other LGUs had less than 40 cases or single digit. Those with single digit are: Malabon (4), Marikina (9), Navotas (4), San Juan (9), and Pateros (1).

Outside of NCR’s LGUs, Davao City took the national haul with 193 cases today.

Among ROFs (returning overseas Filipinos), 28 were reported positive today.

Let’s keep a little restraint on Monday, Valentine’s Day. We’ve been through the worst in the pandemic. Let’s celebrate it with caution and safety. Stay home. Cook for the wifey. Enjoy the day. Love does not have to be expressed in a restaurant.

4575 new cases, 15.1% positivity and the data for 02.10.2022

After the low 3000 or so cases recorded the past days, the Health Agency reports 4575 new cases today based on 36,407 tests done with 15.1% positivity last February 8. Of the reported cases today, 3461 occurred within the last 2 weeks with the top regions being Region 6, 7 and NCR.

With more recoveries today, the active cases go down to 93,307, with almost 95% of them being asymptomatic or mild.

There are 94 additional deaths today. Of these, 70% occurred in February (66) and 12% (11) last January. The remaining deaths were from June to December 2021.

One hundred seventy six duplicates were removed from the total case count. Of these, 132 are recoveries and 1 is a death. In addition, 47 cases that were previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation.

NCR led again in today’s tally with 600 (13%) of the cases today. This was followed by Western Visayas with 568, CALABARZON 508, Central Visayas 498, Davao Region 378, and Northern Mindanao 362. All other regions had less than 300 cases with three regions reporting double digits – CARAGA (90), MIMAROPA (72) and Bicol Region (91).

In the NCR, only Quezon City had triple digits with 122 cases today. The City of Manila continued it second spot with 82 cases followed by Pasig and Makati City owning 50 cases apiece. All other LGUs reported less than 50 cases with 4 LGUs reporting single digits – Malabon (9), Navotas (7), San Juan (5) and Pateros (1).

LGUs/HUCs (highly urbanized cities) with most cases for the day, OUTSIDE of NCR, were Davao City 185 (highest number of cases among all LGUs in the country), Cebu City (129), Negros Oriental (123), Baguio City and Iloilo City with 110 cases apiece.

The numbers are ‘artificially low’ and the data for 02.09.2022

The Health Agency continued to report lower numbers, today at 3651 new cases based on 29970 tests (very low) with 16.5% positivity rate (high) last February 7. This is disturbing data because the positivity rate remains high – which means that with omicron being mild or mostly asymptomatic (as seen in the status of over 96000 active cases) – many are NOT testing anymore.

This scenario is mostly seen in community settings and I am willing to bet that 1 in 5 patients who need to get hospitalized and are swabbed at the point of care, will most likely turn up positive. Remember, all these cases which the DoH announce are based only on RT-PCR positive results.

There are 69 additional deaths – 25 occurring in February, 36 in January and the remaining were May to October 2021.

It’s always a good thing to see the lower numbers. Unlike previous surges, many patients are not testing anymore. Which makes this a more challenging surge because we’re relying on data of the Health Agency – those that had RT-PCR done.

This statement comes based on the OCTA Research Monitoring data [through the effort of Prof. Guido David] on the risk levels for Highly Urbanized Cities (HUCs) as of February 8. While there is an overall downtrend of cases, this decline may not be accurately reflecting the exact number of people with COVID19. Baguio City still has a very high ADAR (average daily attack rate) and a positivity higher than the national average. Notice that ALL these HUCs, except for Lucena City has a positivity at high, very high or severe. For example, Puerto Princesa’s growth, while on a decline has a Rt of 1.37. This is being greatly affected by the positivity rate of 100%. Everyone who tests there is positive.

The same growth (or decline) trend is seen in the Visayas region. Compared to the HUCs in Luzon, more testing is done in the Visayas as noted in their positivity. Iloilo City remains at high risk with the highest ADAR in the HUC in the region, a HCUR that is at 65% and a positivity of 26%. Bacolod City and Ormoc’s positivity is more than 40% (or 2 in 5 that get tested are positive).

Because the data does not provide us with enough comfort zone as to the real condition of the omicron surge, it is best that we gauge moving to Alert Level 1 with caution, and use the positivity and HCUR as a benchmark for deciding on whether we should move from Alert Level 2 to 1. It is a given that ADAR and Rt will depend on the daily report of the health agency.

In areas where the positivity is <10% AND HCUR that is at low risk, then moving to Alert Level 1 may be made with caution.