East Asia in review and the data for 07.03.2022

The Health Agency announces 1323 new cases today with 14 deaths. NCR led the pack with more than 50% of cases for the day. Quezon City had triple digits with 142 cases. This was followed by 13 other LGUs in Mega Manila with double digits. They were: Manila 99, Makati 86, Taguig 53, Pasig 43, Parañaque 39, Mandaluyong 36, Muntinlupa 33, Marikina 31, Pasay City 28, Valenzuela 18, Las Piñas 17, San Juan 14, and Caloocan City 13. None of the LGUs had zero covid.

Outside of NCR, saw more provinces and HUCs with double digits and rising cases. Those with double digits were: Cavite 74, Iloilo 69, Laguna 66, Rizal 54, Cebu 53, Batangas 38, Bulacan 32, Pampanga 27, Benguet 21, Davao del Sur 17, Negros Occidental 16, Bataan and La Union 13, Antique and Isabela 13, Pangasinan and South Cotabato 11.

Albay and Camarines Sur had 9 cases each.

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

The Philippines is seeing a 7-day average of 989 cases/day with the country tipping the 1,000 mark mid-week this week. Notice, however, that most countries in East Asia are on a slight upward tick because of omicron subvariants B.A.5, B.A.4 and B.A.2.12.1. These are more highly transmissible than delta and present predominantly as mild infections (or even asymptomatic) among those who are fully vaccinated with boosters compared to the unvaccinated group.

On a per capita (new cases per million population) basis (which is a better reflection of the situation of the epidemic in the country), Brunei tops the list, followed by Taiwan and Singapore with four digits. With Vietnam’s cases easing down, they now have an average of 750 daily cases with 7.51 per million population a day.

The reproduction rate is highest in Indonesia and the Philippines where the latter has an effective Rt of 1.4 (+/- 0.05) and a 7-day positivity rate of close to 7%. Notice that except for Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan, all the rest of the East Asian nations have a Rt >1.0.

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