With 17,224 cases, the PH now ranks among the top 40 COVID-stricken countries 2
Health workers conduct rapid testing on local barangay officials in Addition Hills. We now have more than 17,000 total COVID cases. Photo by George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

With 17,224 cases, the PH now ranks among the top 40 COVID-stricken countries

With huge numbers pouring in in the last few days, we have now surpassed our neighbors like Japan and South Korea in total COVID cases. BY BENJAMIN CO MD
ANCX | May 30 2020

Infectious diseases and clinical pharmacology expert Dr. Benjamin Co has been thankfully breaking down coronavirus numbers in his personal blog since the outbreak started. The perspective he provides is informative, and comforting in those who are craving for a clear picture of how we are faring against the virus. Dr. Co will share daily updates and analysis of the Department of Health reported numbers with ANCX. 


Refer to the link DOH.gov.ph  or up-to-date data or to COVID19.gov.ph. (The latter is not a secure site.) The new site for the Department of Health is user friendly, provides more information where a COVID19 tracker is seen. Readers can check their official site where Data Drop for raw data can be found. 

One useful site is COVID19stats, where one can see most of the DoH data in graph format.

About last night

With 17,224 cases, the PH now ranks among the top 40 COVID-stricken countries 3

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 deaths (Philippines)

With 17,224 cases, the PH now ranks among the top 40 COVID-stricken countries 4

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases (Philippines)

With 17,224 cases, the PH now ranks among the top 40 COVID-stricken countries 5

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 tests

The figures above show the trajectory of the Philippines in terms of deaths, cases (fresh or otherwise), and testing done. The Department of Health site last reported the number of tests done in the country was on May 28, 2020. 

Based on last night’s data, our seven-day average daily growth rate has gone up from 1.7 percent a few days ago to almost three percent today. With the increase in cases, the trajectory now moves in a slightly upward direction, and is expected to move up further as the backlog data come in. As of today, the doubling time remains around 10 days (based on the logarithmic scale). If we continue to increase disproportionately, the curve will take a steep rise and result in a shortened doubling time—and that will be a major health concern.

With 17,224 cases, the PH now ranks among the top 40 COVID-stricken countries 6

Good news, Bad news: The wrap for the day

From the 1,046, we’re down to 590 cases today. But there’s a huge increase in “fresh cases” from 46 yesterday to 252 today! Eighty eight recoveries and eight deaths are publicly announced. 

Of the 252 “fresh cases,” 162 are from the NCR, 18 from Region VII, and 72 are other areas.

Of the 338 “late cases,” 218 are from the NCR, 9 repatriates, and 111 others. 

The finer details of all the report come in tomorrow at 10 A.M. (as announced by the Department of Health). 

(I don’t understand why it cannot be reported on the same day when these should have already been entered in the Data Drop before they can arrive at a final announcement! Seriously, you gather specific data before you announce the general summary don’t you?)

This brings the case fatality rate of the Philippines to its lowest of 5.5 percent and recovery rate much lower at 22.1 percent because of the higher number of cases. 

For both “fresh” and “late” cases, the NCR logs in a total of 380 (64.4 percent) cases of the 590 total cases for the day.

With 17,224 cases, the PH now ranks among the top 40 COVID-stricken countries 7

The Philippines quickly stole the limelight from Argentina and Dominican Republic to take 42nd spot with its 1,046 cases yesterday. Today, the Philippines has surpassed the total cases of Austria, Japan, and Israel and is now number 39 in the world.

According to the Department of Health, based on the 11,972 active cases remaining as of May 29, 2020, 93.4 percent are mild and the remaining six percent (714 cases) are asymptomatic. Only 0.7 percent of the remain active patients are severe (56) or critical (18). 

According to our health agency when pressed about asymptomatic transmitting the virus, they quote the World Health Organization that “there are few reports of laboratory-confirmed cases who are truly asymptomatic, and to date, there has been no documented asymptomatic transmission.” They forgot to mention that there is a second sentence that says “this does not exclude the possibility that it may occur.” 

But while asymptomatic cases have been reported as part of contact tracing efforts in some countries, I highly doubt that with six percent of the asymptomatic cases reported, they are not sources of infection in the community. An infected droplet is still an infected droplet. 

Was yesterday the highest peak? For all you know, the month of May will end with a bang. Hopefully, some better news tomorrow.

It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly, one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Physician and Writer

To get in touch with the Department of Health, the COVID hotline is (02)894-COVID loc 1555.

Disclaimers on the data: 

(1) These three parameters (new confirmed cases, new recoveries, new deaths) are not real-time data. The data provided by the Department of Health is the date of public announcement. Even global data will vary in time of reporting, depending on the reporting capacity of that country. To date, the latency period of the Department of Health on reporting recoveries averages almost 10 days (with more than 50 percent reported after eight days and more) and deaths averaging almost 12 days (with more than 50 percent being reported after eight days or more).

(2) Depending on where testing is done, RT-PCR test results take an average of 12 hours to two days to process. Barring any delays, all tests done should ideally be released within 48 hours (the earlier the better). However, the test results released from government facilities range from 3-30 days (based on Data Drop), probably due to an overwhelming number of tests being conducted when compared to private hospitals where fewer number of tests are performed.


Global statistics

Update as of 10PM 30 May 2020 (Saturday)


TOTAL DEATHS: 367,149 (case fatality rate: 6.07 percent)

TOTAL RECOVERED: 2,671,827 (case recovery rate: 44.2 percent)

Total cases worldwide

Note that every reference has its own cut-off time for reporting. For the global data, WorldOMeters is used as its reference.

The global statistics has officially crossed the six million mark today (as predicted). With more recoveries now, of the six million plus cases, more than half (3,039,976) cases have already had an outcome. Eighty-eight percent have recovered while 12 percent died. The remaining 49.75 percent (3,008,441) of cases remain active. These are good numbers because they indicate that while the number of cases continue to increase (mostly due to testing), majority of them already had an outcome and the fatality rate is significantly lower now.

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Yesterday was a bad day, not only for the Philippines, but for the world as well. Sadly, we contributed to the pool of data.

With 17,224 cases, the PH now ranks among the top 40 COVID-stricken countries 8

Daily confirmed cases since December 31, 2019. The last time we looked back at the lowest numbers was on February 24, 2020. It has been an upward trajectory since and has plateaued at >80,000 confirmed cases per day since April 5.

And while the daily new cases saw a surge, the number of deaths continue to decline globally. This is evident in the lower case fatality rate today and hovers now around six percent.

With 17,224 cases, the PH now ranks among the top 40 COVID-stricken countries 9

Daily deaths as of May 30, 2020

The United States of America continues to lead globally in the number of total confirmed cases at 1,793,530 with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 5.83 percent with 104,542 total deaths recorded. The recovery rate for the US is up at 28.2 percent. Among the states, New York leads with 377,714 total confirmed cases and 29,653 total deaths, and remain steady with a 7.88 percent case fatality rate (CFR). 

Brazil remains second with a CFR of 5.97 percent. Russia is in third with a CFR of 1.15 percent. India is in ninth spot with 174,020 total confirmed cases with a lower CFR of 2.86 percent today. Turkey is in tenth with 162,120 cases and a CFR of 2.77 percent.

As several countries ramp up testing in various degrees, more new confirmed cases are being reported. With more testing and aggressive contact tracing, we are able to identify patients who may be asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic and are potentially infective to the vulnerable population. This explains why with more testing, we see a better picture of the extent of the pandemic. With more testing, the death rates go down. 

The median average of case fatality rates worldwide has further declined to 6.07 percent (from 6.12 percent yesterday). For the past two to three months, over 88 percent of patients are either asymptomatic or have mild disease and have recovered. 

Recoveries far outnumber the deaths with a ratio of approximately 7.3:1. (The ratio of recoveries continues to increase, and will reassuringly do so, over deaths because of increased testing and better minimum healthcare standards.)