1,069 of yesterday's case came from the National Capital Region (NCR). REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
Culture Spotlight

COVID cases in PH now second only to China among Western Pacific countries

The Philippines also has the second highest number of total deaths in the region. While other countries report transmission by clustering, ours is the only one with community transmission. BY BENJAMIN CO MD
ANCX | Jul 09 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. 


The data came in late. And it was no surprise that we had 2,539 cases – our highest ever. I even think it’s underestimated. Note, however, that 53 of these are duplicates and therefore the actual total should be 2,486 cases.

Of the total cases today, 1,922 are fresh are 617 are late. The Department of Health (DoH) did not indicate from which bracket the 53 duplicates are from, nor did they indicate which region these duplicates belong to.

Of the 2,539 reported cases, 1,069 are from National Capital Region (NCR), 1,030 from “others” (which can include NCR), and 423 from Region VII. 

Five deaths (two reported in July) and 202 recoveries round up the numbers of the day. 

This brings the case fatality rate to a low of 2.61 percent and recovery rate sinks to 25 percent with 12 times more cases being reported today than recoveries.

According to the Health Agency, there are 34,178 active cases that are still alive with asymptomatic comprising 5.6 percent (1,899) and mild cases 93.7 percent (32,032). The number of critical and severe patients are up at 247 from yesterday’s 245.

There are now 58 licensed RT-PCR and 20 licensed Gene Expert labs in the country, a grand total of 78 testing facilities to date. 

As of July 7, 2020, the Philippines has done more than 885,000 tests in over 822,000 individuals. The cumulative positive rate (total number of positive patients since the beginning of testing) is up at 7.5 percent with 69 of 72 laboratories submitting reports. 

On July 7, we had the highest number of samples tests: 22,672 in 21,654 individuals. Of these, 2,016 patients turned out positive. The daily positive rate is lower at 9.13 percent from 12.4 percent.

Based on the available data from DoH, our doubling time is now 17 days with a seven-day average daily growth rate of 3.8 percent. 

While there is data of breakdown of the 1,540 cases from yesterday, 349 are have no tagged residence information. In NCR alone, of the 777 cases, 459 (59.1 percent) have no known residence information.


The world

We’re back at over 200,000 new cases globally overnight. And the total number of coronavirus cases in the world will overtake 12 million in the next few hours. Total number of deaths reported yesterday was higher with more than 5,800 cases. The seven-vday average for new cases is around 190,000/day and deaths at approximately 4,700/day. 

The global case fatality rate is lower at 4.57 percent and recovery rate slightly up at 57.8 percent. Recovery rates are not very reliable indicators because they are subjective to the country’s definition of when they consider patients “recovered.”

The United States continues its upward trajectory past the three million mark as it reports more than 55,000 cases overnight. It now has a seven-day average of over 52,000 cases/day or over 100,000 cases every other day or 1,000,000 new cases at least every three weeks. The three top states in the US with the most number of cases are Texas (+9,414), California (+8,631), and Florida (+7,347). 

The case fatality rate in the US is now at 4.32 percent with 3,097,084 cases as of this report. The US had the second highest number of deaths globally with 993 fatalities. 

Brazil stays in second spot with more than 1.65 million cases and continues to report the highest death cases in the world with 1,312 deaths overnight.

The top 10 countries that had the highest new cases overnight were:

  • USA – 55,442
  • Brazil – 48,584
  • India – 23,135
  • South Africa – 10,134
  • Russia – 6,368
  • Mexico – 4,902
  • Colombia – 4,213
  • Peru – 3,575
  • Saudi Arabia – 3,392
  • Bangladesh – 3,027

The Philippines is number nine in the world in terms of number of new cases confirmed today. A hundred cases lower than Iran, which is the eighth biggest contributor for the day.

The Philippines is at 36th spot in the world in terms of number of total confirmed cases with 2,486 cases today. Indonesia is in 26th spot with 1,853 new cases. We overtake Oman and should overtake many other countries at tomorrow at the rate our numbers are coming in.

Based on the World Health Organization regional category, the regions are divided into Africa, Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, South-East Asia, Western Pacific, and others. The Philippines is part of the WPR (Western Pacific Region). In the graph above, this region contributes to the least number of COVID-19 cases in the world. Yes, including China.

Hence it is worrisome that there is an increasing number in the WPR. Based on July 7, 2020 data, we are second to China in total confirmed cases in the region. We have the highest total confirmed new cases in the region. We have the second highest number of total deaths in the region. While all the other countries report transmission by clustering of cases or sporadic cases, ours is the only one with community transmission.

For the week of July 1 to 7 alone, we had more than 10,000 new confirmed cases. Will our numbers exceed the total cases of China before the month ends? Let’s hope not. It would be a shame if we did.