Woman holds vials labelled "COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" over dry ice in this illustration taken, December 5, 2020. Dado Ruvic/Reuters/Illustration/File Photo/File Photo

Global tally closes at 103 million cases—one year after WHO declared Covid a public health concern

The PH reports 2,103 new cases and 80 new deaths for the last day of the month
BENJAMIN CO, MD | Jan 31 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 Worldometers.info, Ourworldindata.org (European CDC), World Health Organization (who.int), and the New York Times. Where appropriate, additional information may be culled from other references or health agencies.]


Today, the world marks the first year since the World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 virus a global public health concern. Also today, the Philippines posts six less cases than yesterday’s 2,109, the second day in a row that the country reports more than 2,000 cases. 

There are 80 new deaths, pushing the fatality rates up a notch at 2.05 percent.

For a granular breakdown of today’s cases, kindly refer to tomorrow’s report, as the agency no longer includes the top five areas with most cases in their 4PM daily update.

The Philippines (January 30, 2021)

  • Yesterday’s 2,109 new cases can be broken down as follows:
    • Top Region: NCR – 493 cases (23.4 percent of total cases)
    • Outside of NCR with triple digit numbers (in decreasing order): Davao Region, CALABARZON, Central Visayas, Western Visayas, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, and CAR. Together with the NCR, these regions accounted for 77 percent of the total cases yesterday.
    • Top Provinces (with triple digits): Cebu, Davao del Sur and Iloilo (for the second straight day)
    • Top Cities (with triple digits): Davao City, Quezon City and Cebu City
  • There were 11 OFWs (ROFs) in yesterday’s report.
  • Ten of 17 cities in NCR were in the top 20 cities/municipalities with most cases for the day. Quezon City had 131 new cases, accounting for 27 percent of the total cases in NCR alone. 

January 30, 2021 (The World)

  • Weekends always report fewer cases as some countries do not report cases and deaths. Still, with 501,099 new cases and 12,638 new deaths, the total number of coronavirus cases globally has now crossed the 103 million mark.
  • The global case fatality rate is up at 2.162 percent.
  • The United States, while seeing lower cases, remains the leading country in terms of new cases and new deaths. However, on a per capita (based on population size), Andorra (with a population of 77,000) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases at 127,817/million population. Gibraltar, with a population of 33,000 has a death rate of 2,227/million population from COVID-19.


The week that was and the month in summary

  • The month of January saw a slight uptick in cases compared to December. This is attributable to the Christmas holidays. Note also the rise in cases outside of the National Capital Region in the daily reports.
  • There were slightly less cases but definitely more new deaths reported this week.
  • The reproduction number stayed flat at 1.0. In order to see a decline in cases, we need to push the Ro to < 1.0.
  • While the Philippines dropped in the global ranking when it comes to people infected per million, we are two notches up in deaths per million population. The current fatality rate is up at 2.04 percent (still lower than the global fatality rate of 2.16 percent).
  • The graphs provided below summarize the journey of the country in terms of how we are doing dealing with the virus.
  • Testing capacity should be increased in the coming weeks so that we can see the true picture of the pandemic. Notice how the country has tip-toed on the 5% margin set by the World Health Organization. On the left is the number of daily tests (per thousand population) and on the right is the positivity rate which now averages 5.5% nationally.
  • The countries with previously high numbers of daily cases are now seeing a significant decline in their case count, including the United States, the UK, Germany, Canada, Japan and even India. Notice how significant the drop is after instituting masking, lockdowns and distancing measures.
  • The curve of the Philippines is quite different. In spite of the fact that this is the only country in the world that has had the longest various forms of lockdown measures, it has never managed to bring down the national numbers to levels less than 500 new daily cases. Note that the cases we are seeing daily are only those that are tested, those that have money for testing (as it is not generally free in the country), and those hospitalized. Contact tracing is lacking. Our numbers are probably actually higher than what is reported.
  • The IATF needs to review the various measures on managing the pandemic in the Philippines. The current strategies, while good on paper, must be updated soon. One cannot wait for the arrival of the vaccine in order to put order and normalcy back into society because at the end of the day, we must strike a balance between keeping healthy and reviving the economy.