Catholic devotees receive ash as they attend the Ash Wednesday Mass outside the Quiapo Church in Manila on February 17, 2021. Photo by George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

DOH reports 1,744 new cases and 96 new Covid deaths

New cases and new deaths are up
BENJAMIN CO, MD | Feb 18 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.]


Summary for the day

The lower number of cases yesterday can be attributed to the fewer tests done and lesser laboratories reporting on time. As the National Capital Region has almost half of the over 200 testing centers in the country, one would most likely expect that when the total number of fresh cases are low, the concentration are from data in the NCR.

Based on the OCTA Research Group report dated February 17, the Philippines is now trending flat—something we first saw in July 2020, except we were not able to pull the numbers down to June 2020 levels. The fewer cases noted in December were attributed to the decline in testing capacity in the country due to the long holiday season. At present, the Philippines continues to average around 1,700 new cases per day, with several regions contributing to the steady rates instead of a declining trend. The current reproduction number in the Philippines stands at 1.1, while that of Mega Manila is lower at 1.0. The positivity rate in NCR stayed at 4 percent.

New cases and new deaths are up as the DOH reports 1,744 new cases and 96 new deaths today. The national positivity rate remains above the 5 percent acceptable by the World Health Organization.

The Philippines (February 17, 2021)

  • NCR accounted for more than one-third of the total cases in the country with 408 new cases. It was not surprising that 13 of 17 cities in the NCR, the most number to date, were among the top twenty cities/municipalities with COVID-19 cases.
  • Four regions had triple digits – NCR, Central Visayas, CALABARZON and CAR – yesterday. These regions alone accounted for close to three-fourths of the total cases in the country.
  • The province of Cebu continued to lead the provinces with most cases for the day with 212 new cases. With 133 cases from Cebu City, the city contributed to almost two-thirds of the cases in the province.

February 17, 2021 (The World)

  • With 430,104 new cases reported yesterday, the 7-day average stays in the less than 370,000 new cases/day level. 
  • Reported new deaths was up at 13,299 with the case fatality steady at 2.21 percent.
  • While the US continued to lead globally for new cases and new deaths, their new cases remained less than 75,000.