The week that was and the data for 12.12.2022

Cases are up by 7% on the week of December 5-11, 2022 versus the previous week. But I’ve stopped reporting the weekly reports of the Health Agency because in reality, the numbers are under estimated. That meant that for the week of December 5-11, the Philippines had an average of around 1170 new daily cases. Not bad? But not good as well. That’s because the data that’s being churned out is based on PCR tests done and reported. And because the test is expensive, cumbersome and takes a long time to get the results back (and is not even useful for determining recovery after COVID-19), the average tests has dipped significantly to an average of 11,000 tests a day.

The health indicator that manages to provide better outlook on the pandemic is healthcare utilization. With the very low numbers, non-ICU bed utilization is at 24%, while ICU bed utilization is at 22.4%. There were 156 added deaths this week, with 34 of them occurring in the past two weeks.

Vaccination is now something of the past as the percentage coverage for target population (the government defines target population as 70% of the total population, which we know is not right because we don’t offer vaccines to those less than 5 years old, which makes up 10-11% of the total population). Besides, getting ‘fully vaccinated’ with the current available vaccines at a time of Omicron isn’t really a scientific approach to how the vaccines should be utilized in the pandemic. Fortunately, a South African study showed that adjusted for vaccines and prior infection immunity, Omicron is 25% less lethal. Nevertheless, real world data is mixed and show that those highly vulnerable or those with co morbidities still continue to be more critically ill than those that have never received any COVID-19 vaccine at all.

Today, the Health Agency announces 1115 new cases with a high 12.4% reset on a Monday. There were a little more than 8000 individuals tested only on December 11, which will mean that we will most likely have high triple digits tomorrow. There were 22 added deaths today.

The NCR owned 387 of the day’s cases, which was led by Quezon City with 99, followed by Manila with 56 cases. Other LGUs with double digits were: Las Piñas 29, Taguig 25, Parañaque 25, Makati 24, Mandaluyong 21, Muntinlupa 19, Caloocan 18, Valenzuela 17, Pasig 15, and Pasay City 14.

Provinces with more than 30 cases were: Cavite 70, Cebu 52, Rizal 41, Laguna 38, Bulacan 35, Isabela 34, Cagayan 31 and Nueva Ecija 30.

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