The positivity rate for March 16, 2021 was almost similar to that of July 30, 2020. The difference is that we’re running 10,000 to 15,000 more samples for testing in this surge compared to the last surge. Which implies that we need to be testing more. And with more than 220 testing centers now—compared to the 150 testing centers last July 2020–there is no reason we shouldn’t be testing more and doing more aggressive contact tracing.
The DOH notes in the website (and in their press release) that the hospital capacity of the country is still way below the critical level. This, however, is not an accurate picture of how the pandemic playbook is affecting health systems in areas with higher cases. There are over 1,260 facilities spread throughout the 7,640 islands of the country. Only five regions are currently inundated with cases, with NCR seeing quadruple digits daily.
Health capacity dramatically changes when you drill down to the specific regions. In the National Capital Region where the daily cases far exceed the daily cases of other countries, the occupancy rate is past 53%.
National Capital Region, or Mega Manila, is divided into four districts.
District 1 is the city of Manila only, where around 1.8 million reside in a land area of 42.88 sq. km.
District 2 covers the Eastern Manila District, where the LGUs of Mandaluyong, Marikina, Pasig, Quezon City and San Juan are found. District 2 has the highest population with 4.7 million people over a 236.4 sq. km. area.
District 3, otherwise known as CAMANAVA, cover the cities of Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela. They have a population of close to 3 million on a land area of 126.42 sq. km.
District 4 or the Southern District comprise the cities of Las Piñas, Makati, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Pasay, Pateros and Taguig. The population for this district is around 3.7 million occupying a land area of 208.28 sq. km.
The health capacity of the various districts also vary. The 1st district has a hospital occupancy of 47.3 percent, the 2nd district at 51.2 percent, the 3rd district at 48.1 percent and the 4th district is the most overwhelmed at 68.6 percent.
The DOH reported Thursday 5,290 new cases, bringing the total cases past 640,000. There were also 21 new deaths reported.
The Thursday highlights are encircled:
(1) The active cases have surpassed 10 percent with more than 66,000 active.
(2) The positivity rate is at 14.1 percent with 5,635 positives from close to 40,000 individuals tested.
Of the 5,290 cases today, 2,767 (52.3%) were from NCR alone.
CALABARZON reported 917, Region VII, 473, Central Luzon 413, Cagayan Valley 159, Western Visayas 107.
In NCR, Quezon City reported 539 new cases (19.5%). The others? Manila reported 490, Pasay City 227, Makati 223, Marikina 211, Pasig 192, Parañaque 172, Caloocan 152, Taguig 132, Mandaluyong 113, and Valenzuela 101. The remaining 6 LGUs in NCR had double digits but still increasing numbers.