The province of Pampanga reported 63 cases today. Photo from ABS-CBN News

There are now more than half a million coronavirus cases in the Philippines

There are 11 new deaths and 5,868 new recoveries in today’s statistics.
BENJAMIN CO, MD | Jan 17 2021

[All local data are information downloaded from the Data Drop of the Department of Health. The author does not own any of the information except the analysis of all data. Global data are referenced properly from, (European CDC), World Health Organization (, and the New York Times. Where appropriate, additional information may be culled from other references or health agencies.]


The 1,895 new cases announced by the DoH today is enough for the Philippines to breach the 500,000 mark for coronavirus cases in the country.

There are 11 new deaths and 5,868 new recoveries in today’s statistics. This is the lowest recovery haul the Department of Health has announced since it began announcing majority of the recoveries during weekends. This only means there were more cases during the week and have not met the time-based criteria for recovery yet.

Based on the OCTA Research Team, the reproduction number in NCR is steady at 1.12, lower than the national average.

Davao City and Quezon City reports triple digita, while Isabela, Pampanga and Bulacan make up the provinces in the top five.

The Philippines yesterday (January 16, 2021)

  • With 455 new cases, NCR accounted for 22 percent of the total cases in the country.
  • While six regions reported triple digits, it was the Cordillera Administrative Region that shot to the  second spot with 306 new cases. The provinces of Benguet, Mountain Province and Kalinga – all belonging to CAR – were among the top 10 provinces for the day. The reproduction number in Benguet is up at 2.06 with an attack rate of 9.8 per 100,000 (based on data from the OCTA Research Team) as of January 17, 2021.
  • The other regions with triple digits included CALABARZON, Eastern Visayas, Central Luzon and Central Visayas. The top six regions alone accounted for 73 percent of the cases yesterday.
  • Ten of 17 cities in Mega Manila were among the top 20 cities/municipalities with most coronavirus cases with Quezon City still leading.

The World (January 16, 2021)

  • The global weekend report always shows lower number of cases because not all countries report during weekends. There were 612,288 new cases and 12,342 new deaths added to the world yesterday pushing the global count closer to the 95 million mark.
  • The global case fatality rate stands at 2.14 percent.
  • While the US had fewer cases and deaths reported, it continues to lead in total numbers globally.
  • There are now 18 countries with more than 1,000,000 coronavirus cases. At the current rate of increase in cases, Indonesia (7-day average of 11,180 cases; current rank 20th) and the Netherlands ( 7-day average of 5,817; current rank 19th) will most likely join the other nations with more than 1,000,000 cases before the month comes to a close. Indonesia is seeing a rapid rise in cases and is not testing enough. This country with more than 275 million people has done only 30,000 tests/million population compared to the Philippines with a population of 110 million with a testing capacity of over 68,000 tests/million population.
  • Because of the increasing number of nations breaching the 1,000,000 count, global reports will summarize only countries that have passed the 2,000,000 number of cases. To date, there are already 10 nations that have crossed this grim milestone. 

The week in review

The table below summarizes how badly the Philippines did after the long holiday. While we did go down the global rank from 30th to 32nd, it’s not because we were doing better— it’s because other countries were doing worse. And the numbers show that we actually performed worse over a one week period. 

Cases were up by almost 50 percent from the previous week with three days of breaching 2,000 cases. New deaths were up by more than 350 percent (yes, three hundred fifty) compared to the past week with three days of triple digit death reports. 

  • Note the spike in cases and deaths after the holiday in the Philippines. If this continues its upward trajectory in the next two weeks, we most likely are entering the second wave.
  • With the identification of the presence of the UK variant (B. in the Philippines over the week, we need to remain vigilant to ascertain if the increase in cases are due to the SARS-CoV-2 variant.
  • Note the decline in testing capacity over the holiday period correlated with the daily positive rate in the country. After the holiday season, the increase in testing capacity was up again, which slightly lowered the number of daily positive cases. We need to keep testing above the 30,000 tests/day in order to see the true picture of the pandemic in the Philippines. With more than 180 testing centers in the country, the hurdle is the out-of-pocket cost for its citizens.
  • The weekend summary of select nations is shown below. Note that there is a slight downtrend in new cases in the UK and US. India is seeing a larger decline, while Japan is seeing a steep surge in the number of cases.
  • On the lower right infographic, South Korea and Myanmar are in the blue zone for testing capacity and are seeing a decline in cases. It is important that we test enough because that’s the only way one can see the true picture of the pandemic in the country. It is also a reflection of the country’s ability to perform adequate contact tracing.