East Asia in Review and the data for 06.12.2022

The Health Agency announces 308 new cases (it’s been awhile since we have hit the 300 mark) with half of the cases coming from NCR alone. While there are no added deaths today, 6 LGUs in Mega Manila report double digits. This was led by Quezon City with 36 cases. The rest were: Manila 21, Parañaque 19, Makati 17, Pasig 14, and Taguig 10. Marikina, Malabon and Pateros had zero covid today.

Provinces outside of NCR that reported double digits today were: Cavite 14, Bulacan 10, Negros Occidental 11 (province 7, Bacolod City 4), Cebu 14 (city 11, province 3). Zambaonga City had 8 and General Santos 6 cases.

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

According to the World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/weekly-epidemiological-update-on-covid-19—8-june-2022) situation report, as of June 8, the world continued to see a decline in new COVID-19 cases with a 12% drop from the previous week. While there are certain areas where there is still a high number of cases, the omicron variant and its sub variants are the dominant circulating serotypes globally.

The clinical characteristics of omicron sublineages are provided in the summary below. Not that there currently are NO studies on relative transmissibility for BA.4 and BA.5 compared to BA.1 and BA.2. There is also no currently available evidence suggesting a difference in disease severity from the BA.4 and BA.5 sublineages compared to BA.1.

In the same report, a summary of the vaccine effectiveness of a primary series plus ONE booster vaccination against omicron (VOC) is provided.

“To date, 22 studies from 10 countries have assessed the duration of protection of five vaccines against the Omicron variant…Findings from these studies show reduced VE of COVID-19 primary series vaccines against the Omicron variant for all outcomes (severe disease, symptomatic disease, and infection) than has been observed for the other VOCs. Importantly though, VE estimates against the Omicron variant remain higher for severe disease, in the majority of studies. Booster vaccination substantially improves VE for all outcomes and for all combinations of schedules with estimates available for both primary series and booster vaccination. VE declines more with time after booster vaccination for symptomatic disease and infection than it does for severe disease; however, studies that assess VE of booster vaccination beyond six months are needed to evaluate the longer duration of protection.”

The past seven days saw the Philippines experience a slight bump up in cases. The average daily cases are now at 227 new cases/day, the over-all reproduction rate has stabilized to around 1.1 (+/- 0.05), with different areas/regions/HUCs/provinces seeing different Rt numbers. NCR has a Rt of 1.3 (+/- 0.05) as of 3 days ago. Numbers will continue to slightly bump up but as long as the hospital utilization rate remains low, then the region remains to be at low risk.

In general, the Philippines continues to be at low risk compared to the other ASEAN and some East Asian neighbors.

Based on per capita (cases per million population), Taiwan continued to lead as the cases began to decline but saw a sudden uptick the past few days. The data in ourworldindata.org showed a summary of Indonesia having 0 numbers, but this is due to inaccurate input of data. The 7-day average of Indonesia is at 504 cases/day, and should be right after Vietnam.

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