For the first time since March, the PH reported no COVID-related death 2
A quarantine facility in Metro Manila. Today, no covid related death was tallied in the country. Photo from bcda.gov.ph
Culture

For the first time since March, the PH reported no COVID-related death

Because of this, our case fatality rate is now at 2.54 percent, and is lower now than the ASEAN average. 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 early, which means we have better news. Let me rephrase that. We have good news. For the first time, we report zero (0) deaths.

Of the 1,395 cases reported today, most of them (592) came from the “others.” While there are significantly more fresh (1,184) cases than late (211), National Capital Region (NCR) had 443, Region VII 290, and repatriates had 70 new confirmed cases.

Because we have no death reported, our case fatality rate is lower at 2.54 percent. It is lower now than the ASEAN average of 2.81 percent. But our recovery rates much lower at 24.8 percent compared to the ASEAN average of 67 percent due to the higher number of new cases than recoveries.

While recovery rate may not be a good indicator compared to death rate in a pandemic, it is a reflection of how closely patients are followed-up to the endpoint of clinical recovery. A possibility of why community transmission has escalated to this degree may be due to poor follow-up of patients who are not hospitalized because they may be positive and are asymptomatic or have mild disease, and are quarantined in their homes.

For the first time since March, the PH reported no COVID-related death 3
For the first time since March, the PH reported no COVID-related death 4
For the first time since March, the PH reported no COVID-related death 5

According to the health agency, there are 36,459 live active cases, with asymptomatics comprising 5.5 percent (1,991) and mild cases 93.8 percent (34,213). The number of critical and severe patients are up at 255 from yesterday’s 247.

For the first time since March, the PH reported no COVID-related death 6

Of the 2,539 new confirmed cases on July 8, 2020, the top three regions were NCR with 1,066 cases and three deaths; Region VII with 443 cases and two deaths; and Region IVA with 86 cases. 

In NCR, 502 (47 percent) of the 1,066 cases did not have any tagged location. All cities had reported cases with the highest number of cases coming from Quezon City (163), Taguig (93), Manila (39), Makati (37), and Parañaque (35). Other cities breakdown are Navotas (33), Pasig (27), Pasay, and Muntinlupa with 23 cases each, Valenzuela (22), Caloocan (16), Marikina and Las Piñas with 15 each, Mandaluyong (11), San Juan (8), Pateros (3), and Malabon (1). 

Three deaths were accounted for in Navotas (1), Pasig (1), and Quezon City (1). 

Region VII had the most cases from Cebu City with 233 cases and one death, followed by Cebu Province with 100 cases and one death. Other places that had reported cases in the region include: Mandaue with 64, Lapu-Lapu with 33, Bohol with 1 and 12 unknown.

Region IVA saw a total of 86 cases with the most coming from Rizal (25). The others were: Cavite (24), Laguna (17), Batangas (10), Lucena (2), Quezon (1) and 7 unknown. 

According to Department of Health (DoH), there are now 59 licensed RT-PCR and 21 licensed Gene Expert labs in the country, a grand total of 80 testing facilities to date. 

Based on testing capacity, DoH reports that 21,629 samples were tested on July 8, 2020 with 20,295 individuals tests among 68 out of 72 laboratories reporting. There were 2,260 positive cases giving a 11.14 percent daily positivity rate and pushing the cumulative positivity rate up to 7.6 percent (from a previous 7.5 percent).

For the first time since March, the PH reported no COVID-related death 7

Our doubling time as of yesterday is at 16.5 days with a seven-day average daily growth rate of 4.21 percent (higher than the previous 3.8 percent).

 

The world

There are now more than 12 million confirmed cases of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in the world. We’re back at over 200,000 new cases globally for two consecutive days. Total number of deaths reported yesterday was 5,529 cases. The seven-day average for new cases is up at >193,000/day and deaths at approximately 4,758/day. 

The global case fatality rate is lower at 4.54 percent and recovery rate slightly up at 58.1 percent. Recovery rates are not very reliable indicators because they are subjective to the country’s definition of when they consider patients ‘recovered’.

For the first time since March, the PH reported no COVID-related death 8

Data from WorldOMeters.

For the first time since March, the PH reported no COVID-related death 9

The United States continues its upward trajectory close to the 3.2 million mark as it makes a landmark record with almost 62,000 cases overnight. It now has a seven-day average of over 54,000 cases/day or over 100,000 cases every other day. The last two days saw a surge in deaths with close to 800 to 900 deaths/day. This is due to breaking record cases in various states in the US. 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. The top three states yesterday are Texas (+10,199), Florida (+9,989), and California (+8,561). Five states—Missouri, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia—set single-day records for new infections yesterday. 

Brazil stays in second spot with more than 1.71 million cases and continues to report the highest death cases in the world with 1,187 deaths overnight.

For the first time since March, the PH reported no COVID-related death 10

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

  • USA – 61,848
  • Brazil – 41,541
  • India – 25,571
  • South Africa – 8,810
  • Russia – 6,562
  • Mexico – 6,258
  • Colombia – 4,114
  • Peru – 3,633
  • Argentina – 3,604
  • Bangladesh – 3,489

The Philippines moves up to 34th place in the world with the 1,395 new cases today, overtaking the Ukraine and the Netherlands. Indonesia remains in 26th spot with a haul of 2,657 new confirmed cases today and 58 deaths.

For the first time since March, the PH reported no COVID-related death 11

While the World Health Organization puts the Philippines in the Western Pacific Region (WPR) and Indonesia in South East Asia (SEA), the country with similar demographic profile to the Philippines is our southern neighbor Indonesia. If there is one common denominator with both the Philippines and Indonesia both are experiencing community transmission of the disease.

Community transmission is worrisome for health officials because it means that the virus is in the community yet no one knows where it has come from or track its origin. In short, the virus is widespread in the community. 

Community transmission means that an illness spreads in such a way that the source of its infection most likely is unknown. Meaning you can get an infection from other people (at work, in school, shopping, etc) and from people who think they don’t have it. 

This type of transmission of a disease during an outbreak is challenging to control because contact tracing is inadequate in the containment where anyone and everyone remains vulnerable due to difficulty in tracing. 

We will need to channel our limited resources at the following mitigation strategies: 

  • slowing down the transmission of the disease in order to protect people at risk for severe illness and the healthcare system
  • emphasizing individual responsibility in the war against the disease
  • tailoring strategies to target population (considering the vulnerability and social and economic impact of the community). 

In the meantime, let’s rest on one major milestone today: no deaths reported. 

How long that lasts is the next hurdle.