Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (green) heavily infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (purple). Image courtesy of the NIAID

The PH reports 50 percent increase in cases from previous week, and 75 percent more deaths

The last time we peaked this high was the week of August 6-12 last year.   
BENJAMIN CO, MD | Mar 15 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 last time we peaked this high was the week of August 6-12, 2020 where we had 21,796 officially recorded. Last week was a record high and we expect to do worse in the upcoming weeks.
  • As the week drew to a close, there were 4,899 new cases added Sunday, dragging our total cases up to 621,498.
  • Unlike in past months where the weekend clean-up drive on recoveries would have a large impact on the number of active cases, in spite of 13,371 reported recoveries, the active cases was at a record high of 7.7 percent. This is due to the fact that we had more cases than how quickly even a time-based recovery endpoint could significantly affect the recovery rate or number of recoveries.
  • There are 63 new deaths reported today, bringing the case fatality rate to 2.06 percent. But the number of new cases will not impact on mortality until 4 weeks after the surge.
  • NCR continued to account for close to half of the cases in the country with 2,360 new cases. Five other regions – CALABARZON, Central Visayas, Central Luzon, CAR, and Cagayan Valley – reported triple digits. These six regions contributed 90 percent to Sunday total.
  • In NCR, it was Quezon City that continued to lead with 18.3 percent of the total cases. Aside from QC, eight other LGUs reported triple digits: Manila, Pasay City, Makati, Pasig, Parañaque, Taguig, Caloocan and Marikina. 
    Twelve of 17 LGUs from NCR are in the top 20 cities with most cases.
    On a provincial level, while Cebu continued to top the list, the provinces of Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal and Benguet are seeing significant rise in cases.

The World (March 13, 2021)

  • With 442,510 new cases added yesterday, the world has now passed the 120 million mark.
  • 8,140 new deaths keeps the case fatality rate steady at 2.22 percent.
  • The United States of America officially now has 30 million COVID-19 cases, while Brazil continues to dominate the most number of new cases and new deaths globally.

The week in review

Sadly the data is not promising because the current steep upward trajectory has put the Philippines in quite a precarious spot not only nationally but regionally as well.

  • We’re up by 50 percent more in new cases than the previous week
  • We’re up by 75 percent more in new deaths than the previous week
  • We’re up in positivity rate for COVID-19 testing, surpassing the 10 percent limit of what the World Health Organization would classify as not enough testing capacity in spite of testing more than 40,000 daily (which means that the threshold for new number of people to be tested is now around 70,000-80,000 per day)

Notice the very steep rise in cases similar to the steep rise seen last week of July to first week of August 2020

The graphs above summarize the increase in testing capacity in the country. However, this wasn’t quite enough because in spite of increased testing, the positivity rate is up. Meaning two things: (1) we are not testing enough, (2) we are not contact tracing enough. 

While some countries are now seeing surges again, in Asia, the Philippines is doing much poorer compared to its ASEAN neighbors that seem to be able to control the pandemic with less internal lockdown parameters to reopen and jumpstart its economies.

  • Finally, we are one of the countries that have been able to start some form of vaccination program to some degree no matter how late. Other nations have been able to start their own immunization program much earlier and it is time to play catch up. Hopefully, and that is with fervent optimism, we will all be able to come out of this pandemic and tell stories on how we beat a formidable enemy.