East Asia in review and the data for 06.26.2022

The Health Agency announces 828 new cases today, as the 7-day positivity rate continues to rise and is now at 4.9%. There are also 11 deaths added today. The NCR accounted for 48% of the total cases with 397 for the epicenter of the country.

Fourteen of the 17 LGUs in NCR reported double digits today with Quezon City leading with 60 cases. Other LGUs with double digits were: Makati 49, Manila 46, Taguig 39, Pasig 34, Parañaque 28, Las Piñas 26, Muntinlupa 19, Valenzuela and Mandaluyong 17 each, Pasay City 15, Caloocan City 14, Marikina 13, San Juan 10. No LGU in NCR had zero covid.

CALABARZON had 158 today with Rizal leading with 51 cases, Cavite 46, Laguna 32, Batangas 16 and Quezon province 3.

Other provinces and HUCs that saw rising cases were: Iloilo 55, Bulacan 33, Cebu 40, Pampanga 15, Cagayan Valley 15, Davao City 12, Puerto Princesa City 15, La Union 7, Aklan 8, Cadiz 9 and South Cotabato 6.


The data for East Asia is a mixed bag. Countries with increasing cases at the beginning of the year like the Philippines and Indonesia and saw large respite after 1 1/2 months are now experiencing a bump up in cases. Other countries like Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan are seeing a decline in their cases. On a per capita (cases per million), Taiwan and Brunei have the highest in this region, with Indonesia and the Philippines on an upswing. As of June 25, 2022, the 7-days average for the Philippines is at 629 new cases/day and is expected to continue rising as the 7-day positivity rate moves up to 4.8% (and will most likely exceed the 5% mark the next week). While the numbers are considered low in the region, note that only the RT-PCR cases are being counted. Those who are diagnosed by rapid antigen tests are not included in the daily case count. Most of the cases in the Philippines are seen in the highly urbanized and congested areas, especially the tourist destinations that are now seeing a rise in cases.

The Health Agency announced last week the confirmation of more than 30 cases of BA.5 on genome sequencing. Omicron is still the dominant variant of concern but several sequences indicate that BA.2.12.1 and BA.5 are being reported in higher frequency.

These sub variants are notable in their neutralization escape potential against vaccination and previous infection with other pre-omicron variants and omicron sub variants. [https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2206576?fbclid=IwAR0StLGoqB_Ub-5OXBLC81Otz6qvavdT01N48rQeJ42nztqRxaeMrZFHkxY]

The reproduction number is up at 1.53 (+/- 0.05) as of June 20, 2022 and this may continue to rise in the next week or so. This is actually the best time to bring down the Rt because the number of cases are not yet in the four digits. Indonesia is the only country that is ahead of the PH in terms of effective reproduction number.

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