East Asia in review and the data for 08.28.2022

The Health Agency announces 2318 new cases with 54 added deaths today. Positivity rate improved to 14.1% from a previous 14.3%. In today’s blog is the analysis of the projections from Prof. Guido David and the data from Johns Hopkins University CSSE COVID-19 data (on https://ourworldindata.org).

Two LGUs in NCR reported triple digits today – Quezon City 174 and Manila 104. Twelve of the LGUs continued to report double digits but several of them are seeing lower cases. Those with double digits were: Makati 73, Parañaque 65, Pasig 61, Taguig 58, Muntinlupa 40, Pasay City 35, Marikina 34, Mandaluyong 32, Caloocan 27, Las Piñas 26, Valenzuela 26 and San Juan 11.

Outside of NCR, triple digits were seen in the provinces of Cavite 121, Bulacan 103, and Rizal 102.

Only three provinces reported more than 50 but less than 100 cases. They were: Laguna 82, Cebu 51 and Davao del Sur 57 (with Davao City accounting for 55 of the cases). Areas with higher than usual cases today were: Benguet 30, Bukidnon 36 and Palawan 25.

Prof. Guido David provides an overview on the COVID-19 situation in the country and in the National Capital Region, the epicenter of the pandemic in the Philippines.

The 7-day average based on August 27, 2022 data is at 2892 daily cases, which the NCR, which owns around 30% of the national cases continues to decline in Rt and positivity. If the current situation maintains the same mathematical modeling, we expect lower cases by the end of September. Hopefully, these would translate also to more reliable numbers as many of the cases in more highly urbanized areas in Metro Manila and the country are not counted because the Philippines only includes those testing positive by RT-PCR.

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

The current situation in the Philippines shows that the reproduction rate is flat at 1.01 (+/- 0.05)[comparable to the data above of Prof. Guido David where the difference is around 0.1], which means that the cases are on a very slow decline. With the 7-day average positivity rate hovering at 14.3% (a significant drop from >18% 2 weeks ago), the average daily cases have also declined by 10-15% over the past week.

Japan and South Korea remain to be the only countries reporting six digit daily cases, while Taiwan continued to report five digits.

On a per capita basis (per million population), South Korea has the highest cases in East Asia at 2119/million population, eclipsing Japan (1702/million) and Taiwan (1019/million). Hong Kong and Singapore continue to report triple digits per million cases, while the rest have lower numbers including the Philippines which is now down to 27/million (from a previous 35-40/million).

Reproduction rates of all countries in the East Asian region are stable (which means that the following week will more or less provide the same statistics with a slow decline among countries with R> 0.9), while countries with R<0.8 (Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam and Brunei) will continue to see continued decline in cases as natural immunity from infection spreads across the region.

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