Caloocan City recorded 267 new Covid cases March 31, 2021. Photo from ABS-CBN News

DOH reports 106 new deaths and less than 500 recoveries

The Philippines posts 6,128 new cases today 
BENJAMIN CO, MD | Mar 31 2021

While there are relatively fewer cases posted today, it is the deaths that took center stage during the 4PM announcement of the Department of Health.

There are 6,128 new cases today in the Philippines with 106 new deaths and less than 500 recoveries. This brings the total number of active cases to more than 130,000 or close to 18 percent. The total cases of COVID-19 in the country now approaches 750,000. While the DOH reports a 19.9 percent positivity for March 30, 2021 (as of 12NN data submission), the actual daily positive rate is more than 20 percent. In short, 1 in every 5 individuals tested will likely test positive.

The hospital capacity for ICU is almost at 80 percent in NCR, and close to 70 percent utilization of isolation facilities. Wards and ventilator availability has dwindled down with more than 60 percent of these now occupied.

In terms of positivity rate, note the graph of the DOH below, which compares the positivity in tests on April 3, 2020 when we had only a handful of testing centers and a few thousand tests done daily to that of March 29, 2021 when we have over 200 laboratories and doing an average of 50,000 tests daily. In the same graph, one can see that even during the first surge, we did not reach positivity rates of this proportion. This means that this second surge is an outbreak that will be challenging to control. And will definitely take a toll not only on life and the healthcare system but on the economy as well.

Today saw slightly lower numbers in the NCR with less than 50 percent new cases (2,938). CALABARZON was in second with 1,108 (18 percent), Central Luzon with 548 (9 percent) and Cagayan Valley with 421 (7 percent). Four other provinces reported triple digits: Central Visayas, CAR, Ilocos Region, and Western Visayas. There are 37 cases with no location on a regional level.

The NCR has Quezon City remaining in the lead with 753 new cases. Manila came in second with 400 new cases. Caloocan City and Mandaluyong having less than 300 but more than 200 cases each. Makati, Malabon, Las Piñas, Navotas, Parañaque, and Taguig has more than 100 but less than 200 cases each. In spite of the lower cases, 14 of 17 LGUs in NCR were still in the top 20 cities with most cases for the day. 

On a provincial level, Cavite, Bulacan, and Rizal continues to bring in the highest numbers.