A COVID-19 swab collection booth set up in Cavite. Region IVA had the second highest number of COVID cases reported today. Photo from Dasmarinas City website
Culture Spotlight

Region IVA—particularly Laguna and Cavite—had the second highest number of COVID cases reported today

While NCR had more than half of the cases reported, Laguna had 58 while Cavite tallied 21. There has also been a steady decline in reported cases coming out of Region VII, but conflicting and confusing data prevents this from being good news. BY BENJAMIN CO MD
ANCX | Jul 14 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. 


Let me start off with a disclaimer, as the Health Agency would do. Whatever is written here is based on the information released by the Department of Health (DoH) at the time of publication. Whatever changes DoH makes in their data later on, well, that’s a different story in itself. As they say in their disclaimer that “the total cases reported may be subject to change as these numbers undergo constant cleaning and validation.”

As of the 4 P.M. report, there were an additional 634 new confirmed cases from 65 out of 82 laboratories (79 percent submission rate). The number of severe and critical patients are up from 0.7 percent yesterday to 0.9 percent today with 177 critical and 142 severe cases. The number of critical cases has significantly risen from 100 cases to 177 over a 7 days period.

The number of active cases are up from 35,036 to 35,483 with only 88 recoveries today. There are six new deaths reported today, three coming from National Capital Region (NCR), two from Region VII, and one from Region V. For the past days, there has been a significant decline in cases being reported from Region VII. NCR makes up for more than 50 percent of cases reported today with 360 new confirmed cases. The other provinces that round up the highest reported cases include two provinces in Region IVA: Laguna with 58 and Cavite with 21 cases. Cebu reported 32 cases while Bulacan had 23. 

The case fatality rate is lower at 2.79 percent (from 2.8 percent), but the recovery rate drops to 35.6 percent from a previous 35.7 percent with a handful of recoveries.

The six deaths reported today are all current reports.

According to the case bulletin, as of July 13, 2020, there are 85 testing sites (63 RT-PCR and 22 GeneXpert laboratories) in the country. A total of 939,529 total individual tests have been done. And there is no breakdown on the total tests done provided.

However, on the COVID-19 tracker, there is data for the previous day.

On July 13, 2020 at 4 P.M., the Department of Health (DoH) announced an additional 834 new confirmed cases based on test results from 57 out of 82 (69.5 percent) laboratories. However, in the COVID tracker of the health agency, as of July 12, in 71 out of 76 testing laboratories (93.4 percent), there were 17,077 samples tested (a significant drop from the previous five days performance of more than 20,000 tests per day). A total of 1,990 positive results from 16,053 individuals drove the daily positive rate up to 12.4 percent. The cumulative positive rate is also up at 7.9 percent.

Of the 834 new confirmed cases yesterday afternoon, more than 63 percent (529) were from NCR alone. The other contributors included Regions IVA (139 cases), III (39 cases), X (28 cases), and XI (27 cases). Region VII had only 11 reported cases.

Amazingly, for the first time, only one case in NCR has no tagged location (unknown). The rest of the 529 cases are accounted for. All cities in Metro Manila have at least one reported case. The top five cities are Quezon City (103), Taguig (96), Manila (73), and 37 cases each for Parañaque and Valenzuela. 

Other cities with double digits include Pasig (34), Navotas, and Makati (24 each), Las Piñas (22), Pasay (21), Caloocan (16), and Mandaluyong and Malabon (11 each). Those with single digits were Marikina (9), Muntinlupa (7), San Juan (2), and Pateros (1).

Region IVA ranked second in yesterday’s report with 139 cases. The majority came from Laguna (54) followed by Cavite (35), Rizal (30), Batangas (17), and Quezon (3). 

Region III is third in rank with 39 new confirmed cases: 25 from Bulacan, eight from Bataan, four from Pampanga, and one each from Nueva Ecija and Zambales. 

Region X reported 28 new cases: 18 from Cagayan de Oro, five from Iligan, three from Misamis Oriental, and one from Bukidnon.

Region XI had 27 new cases: Davao City had 16, Davao del Norte had five, Compostela Valley had four, and Davao del Sur had one case.

Region VII reported only 11 cases yesterday. This actually does not jive with the testing center report coming out of the three testing facilities (Allegiant, Cebu TB GeneXpert Laboratory, and Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center). Based on the testing facilities, 259 positive results were reported in 1,500 individuals tested on July 12, 2020. With 11 cases reported yesterday, and 32 cases only today, where are the rest?

Nevertheless, note the significant the drop in daily positivity rate for Region VII. The highest daily positive rate was recorded on April 25, 2020 with 51.2 percent and resurfaced on June 30, 2020 with 45.9 percent positivity. Enhance Community Quarantine was re-imposed in Cebu City beginning June 16, 2020. [Note that of the three labs in the region, only two submitted reports on July 12, 2020.]

While the new general reporting method of the health agency is clearer, it is not granular enough and the summary report does not coincide with the actual data when analyzed.


The world

In spite of the lower number of cases in the world reported yesterday (166,192), the seven-day average remains at 207,091 new confirmed cases per day. This means that in four days, the world is set to cross the 14 million mark. Total deaths last night was also lower at 3,392 cases but the seven-day average is at 4,886 deaths per day. 

The global case fatality rate is lower at 4.35 percent and recovery rate a bit up at 58.27 percent due to record high number of cases over the past week. Recovery rates are not very reliable indicators because they are subjective to the country’s definition of how and when they consider patients “recovered.”

Data from WorldOMeters.info.

The United States will soon approach the 3.5 million mark with 65,488 new confirmed cases for the day. It now has a seven-day average of > 62,243 cases/day or more than 120,000 cases every other day. There were 465 deaths reported yesterday, slightly higher than the previous day. However, the seven-day average is up at 753 deaths/day. Top three states contributing to yesterday’s haul were Florida (+12,624), Texas (+9.156), and California (+8,350). 

The case fatality rate in the US is now at 3.97 percent with 3,479,483 cases as of this report. 

Brazil stays in second spot with close to 1.9 million cases and continues to report the highest death cases in the world with 770 deaths yesterday. The seven-day average in new cases for Brazil is lower at 37,370 new cases per day. This slowing down, however, may be a lull as reporting has been a swing after every three to four days.

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

  • USA – 65,488
  • India – 28,179
  • Brazil – 21,783
  • South Africa – 11,554
  • Russia – 6,537
  • Mexico – 4,482
  • Colombia – 3,832
  • Peru – 3,797
  • Bangladesh – 3,099
  • Argentina – 3,099

The Philippines remains in 33rd place in total number of cases in the world, second to Indonesia in Southeast Asia, and first in the Western Pacific Region based on the World Health Organization.