East Asia in review and the data for 09.25.2022

The Health Agency announces 3520 new cases as the Philippines continued to report increasing cases today, with 31 added deaths and 15.3% positivity. NCR positivity is almost 20%, with NCR hitting a new high of 1600 new cases.

Six LGUs in NCR reported triple digits with Quezon City leading with 378 cases. This was followed by Manila 178, Marikina and Makati 104 each, Pasig 133 and Parañaque 103. The LGUs with double digits reported high double numbers: Caloocan 96, Taguig 95, Las Piñas 82, Mandaluyong 68, Valenzuela 65, Muntinlupa 62, Pasay City 53, Malabon 30, San Juan 25 and Navotas 15.

Outside of NCR, the provinces with triple digits were: Rizal 235, Cavite 214, Bulacan 172, Davao del Sur 106, Laguna 101. Those with more than 50 but less than 100 cases were: Batangas 98, Tarlac 90, South Cotabato 56, and Pampanga 50.

Two provinces saw increasing cases today. They were: Palawan 33 and Maguindanao 20.

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

As global cases of COVID-19 see a steady decline (including deaths), many countries in East Asia continue to see a large dip in COVID numbers as well. This includes front leader Japan and South Korea. Japan and Hong Kong will be opening its borders to tourism this October and we will see how this affects the COVID cases in the run up to the Autumn and Winter season. When this happens, China will be the last bastion in the world at maintaining their zero COVID policy. Not a very wise economic move as the United States continues to increase interest and borrowing rates, resulting in a drop in the global currency exchange. But this move in the US is meant to put pressure on their own economy as well, which should address the labor situation there, resulting in lay-offs and putting themselves into recession in order to pay for the COVID-19 economic damage.

Back in East Asia, the Philippines now has the highest reproduction number at 1.13 (+/- 0.05) as this is the only country seeing a continued rise in cases in the region. Three regions in the Philippines make up more than 75% of the daily cases – the epicenter Mega Manila (known as the National Capital Region) which accounts for more than 50% of the daily cases, and Central Luzon and CALABARZON (region IVA).

As the positivity in NCR continues to rise, the numbers are not expected to decline anytime soon. In addition, while the number of cases continue to increase, the testing by PCR is on a decline. This is the reason why the announced cases are ‘artificial’. The country also does not count antigen test results and the doctors and patients that do antigen testing are not mandated to report the test results (unlike Japan where healthcare providers must provide the government with test results – antigen or PCR).

On a per capita basis (cases per million population), it is Taiwan that leads the region with close to 1700 new daily cases per million people. Japan’s numbers together with their reproduction number have significantly dropped. Sadly, the Philippines has been seeing a rise in Rt and is unable to maintain a low Rt for 4 consecutive weeks.

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