The world in review and the data in 11.27.2022

The Health Agency announces 1326 new cases with 12% positivity rate for a little more than 10,000 individuals tests (one of the lowest testing in the past few months. There were 23 added deaths today.

The NCR owned more than 34% of the day’s cases with 457. With the uptick in cases in NCR, the day was led by Pasig City with 98 cases followed by Manila and Quezon City with 60 cases each. The other LGUs with double digits in Mega Manila were: Las Piñas 33, Parañaque 31, Makati 27, Caloocan 23, Taguig 22, Pasay City and Muntinlupa 18 each, Mandaluyong and Marikina 17 each, and Valenzuela with 12.

Outside NCR, the following provinces had more than 30 cases: Negros Occidental 58, Cebu 50, Cavite 48, Laguna 40, Rizal 42, Iloilo 31, Cagayan 34 and Benguet 33.

While understandably, the counting has become inaccurate because of the (1) basis for prevalence is RT-PCR and (2) delayed reports (in spite of the low number of tests), the NCR, which remains the epicenter of the pandemic in the Philippines has been the barometer for any uptick in cases. And with NCR seeing higher numbers (and a larger share of the day’s cases), we should be more cautious during the holiday gatherings and be mindful and responsible during the Christmas celebration.

THE GLOBAL DATA AS OF 20 NOVEMBER 2022 (NOV 23, ED 119, PUBLICATION WHO)

Based on data as of November 20, 2022, the number of weekly cases declined by 5% for the week of November 14-20, 2022 compared to the previous week. Weekly deaths also declined by 13% compared to the previous week.

At the regional level, the number of newly reported cases continued to decline except in the Region of the Americas which saw a 3% bump up and the South-East Asia Region which was up by 8%.Weekly deaths increased in the Western Pacific Region by 1%, African Region by 124% and South East Asia Region by 13%.

At the country level, the highest cases came from Japan (+18%), South Korea (+2%), USA (-3%), France (+24%), and China (-8%). Highest weekly deaths were from USA, Japan, China, France and Russia.

The WHO continues to monitor the global COVID-19 situation with a caution in the data interpretation as several countries have changed their COVID-19 testing strategies, resulting in lower overall number of tests performed an hence, lower cases detected.

Countries in East Asia are seeing increasing cases this past week, with Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong leading the pack. The reproduction numbers are >1.0 in China, Japan, Indonesia and South Korea. While the data is as of November 22, where the Rt in the Philippines is at 0.84 (+/- 0.05), the latest increase in cases in the Philippines has bumped up the Rt to 1.0 (+-0.05), with NCR alone at 1.25.

Testing in the Philippines, as exemplified with the NCR data with RT-PCR in the graph below (c/o Prof. Guido David) is also at an all time low, with total number of daily tests done similar to the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Many of these tests are from hospitals as patients are required testing prior to some admission policies. This accounts for the increasing positivity rate in the NCR, which jumped from 7.5% the previous weeks to >10% yesterday. The overall positivity rate in the country stands at 12.1% on 11.26.2022. As the number of cases in NCR continue its upward climb, we are also seeing a rise of cases in the provinces and other highly urbanized cities. The data being provided should serve as a reminder that we need to stay vigilant and responsible as the holidays have begun. It should also serve as a reminder to the government that it needs a quicker and more agile response so that the economy is not affected with the rise in numbers as we are seeing now.

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