The UK Variant is driving the surge in the Mountain Province, with 12 cases identified yesterday. Photo by Caitriana Nicholson on Wikimedia Commons

PH Covid cases are rising in the regions outside of NCR

Presence of variant in Mountain Province accounts for increasing positivity rates in the north.  
BENJAMIN CO, MD | Jan 23 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 DoH reports 1,797 new cases today, down from yesterday’s over 2,100 cases. However, the agency reports 54 new deaths, up from the 20 deaths yesterday.

Davao City is back on top with 151 new cases, followed by Quezon City. Three provinces are in today’s top five – Rizal, Isabela and Bulacan.

With recent reports on the presence of the UK Variant B. in the Philippines, the increasing cases in Northern Luzon are a cause for concern and government should remain vigilant. All health measures and considerations in reopening the economy should be one that is realistic with the healthcare capacity of the country.

The Philippines (January 22, 2021)

  • Yesterday’s 2,178 cases was dominated by NCR which contributed over 27 percent of the total or 605 new cases.
  • Seven regions reported triple digits: NCR, CALABARZON, Central Luzon, Central Visayas, Davao Region, Cordillera Administrative Region and Eastern Visayas.
  • There were 4 OFWs (ROFs) included in yesterday’s report.
  • Cebu led on a provincial level with 154 cases, 80 of which came from Cebu City alone. Cebu City came in second among the top 20 cities/municipalities in the country.
  • Fourteen of 17 cities in Mega Manila were among the top 20 cities/municipalities yesterday.
  • Three major cities in the most urbanized areas in the Philippines were in the top three contributors to yesterday’s haul of new cases – Quezon City, Cebu City and Davao City.
  • Based on an updated OCTA Research report (January 23, 2021), while the reproduction number in the Philippines has slightly decreased to 1.13, and the reproduction number in NCR is at 1.08, we note that the UK Variant is driving the surge in the Mountain Province, with 12 cases identified yesterday.

Based on sampling, it is estimated that the prevalence of the UK variance in the Mountain Province is one out of three. Mountain Province, Benguet and Kalinga continue to have an increase in daily new Covid 19 cases, while also having high daily attack rates greater than 10 per 100,000 (population) and positivity rates greater than 10 percent (meaning 1 of every 10 people tested will most likely be positive). The high positivity rate warrants an increase in testing capacity in these areas.

OCTA Research COVID-19 Report January 23, 2021

  • Note in the table below those highlighted in yellow show alarmingly high cases.
  • The table also breaks down the new cases per day (7-day average) on a weekly basis. While NCR has jumped from 277 on the week of January 1-7, to 434 for the week January 15-21, the density and population of NCR provide a low attack rate at 3.12 per 100,000. Benguet on the other hand spiked from 29 cases per day to almost 100 cases per day, giving an attack rate of almost 10 per 100,000. Note the difference: NCR has more than 13 million people, while Benguet has only less than 450,000 population.
  • The provinces in Northern Luzon are seeing numbers that will be difficult to control without instituting more testing and sadly, stricter lockdowns.

The World (January 22, 2021)

  • While the total number of daily cases globally is on a slight downward trend, the number of deaths on the other hand are up. With 659,676 new cases yesterday, there were also 15,911 new deaths, pushing the case fatality rate up at 2.143 percent.
  • Again, while the US had close to 200,000 new cases yesterday, it continued to contribute the most cases and deaths in the world.
  • Four countries continued to report quadruple numbers in deaths – USA, Mexico, UK and Brazil.