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.
[Disclaimer: Whatever is written here is based on 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 and as they say in their disclaimer: “the total cases reported may be subject to change as these numbers undergo constant cleaning and validation.”]
We ease up a bit today with 3,462 confirmed cases from 86 percent submission rate (84/98 testing laboratories) today. We are now close to 116,000 total cases.
More than 70 percent or 2,434 of today’s cases are in National Capital Region alone.
The difference in total cases between the Philippines and Indonesia is now fewer than 1,000, and fewer than 2,000 between the Philippines and Canada. Will we make that leap tomorrow?
The other provinces that contributed to today’s report include Laguna (105), Rizal (101), Cavite (73), and Cebu (62). With NCR contributing to the bulk of cases, the government needs to focus on the rising cases in Mega Manila. Otherwise, the central area of commerce will soon collapse.
Seventy-five were removed from the total cases with no reason provided.
The Health Agency provides a tabular breakdown of the newly reported cases by region and date of onset of illness.
How did they arrive at the 3,462 cases reported today?
For the period of July 23 to August 5, there were 2,919 “cases reported by region and date of onset of illness.” Of the rest, 456 are from July 1 to July 22, 66 for the month of June, 15 for the month of May, four way back in April and one each all the way back in March and February.
According to DoH, “of the 3,462 cases reported today, 2,986 (or 86.2 percent) of the cases do not have information on date of onset of illness, 124 do not have information on date of specimen collection, and 116 do not have information on both. In cases where date of onset of illness is missing, the date of specimen collection (minus three days) was used as proxy. In cases where both date of onset of illness and date of specimen collection are missing, the report date (minus nine days) were used as proxy.”
With so many assumptions being made regarding recording of cases based on date of onset of illness, one just asks the simple question—why?
Why do you even want to make reporting of cases complicated? Isn’t reporting based on laboratory release date a simpler methodology for data gathering and recording? They may have their reasons, but I definitely would have doubts on recording data based on onset of illness for the very simple reason that there will be people who do not have any symptom or that they don’t even recall which of the symptoms they have is the date of onset of illness. Having to recall and then record all that just befuddles the data gathering effort, resulting in a domino effect on the accuracy, consistency and timeliness of reporting.
All these numbers are not just statistical data. They are the very indicators of how well we are doing in the pandemic. They are the barometer for changing our sail because the wind has led us to a different direction.
The number of active cases is now up at 47,587 due to only 222 recoveries compared to the continuous surge in confirmed cases. This brings the touted 73 percent recovery rate several days ago crashing further to 57 percent. We are now lower than both the global (63.76 percent) and the ASEAN recovery rate (75 percent).
There were nine reported deaths today, bringing the fatality rate to 1.83 percent but total deaths to 2,123 since the start of the pandemic.
Of these deaths, four were from Central Visayas, four from NCR, and one from Davao.
Eight deaths were reported last July while one was reported in June.
The agency reports that one case previously tagged as dead was confirmed to be alive, while another case tagged as a recovery was removed from the recovery list (which meant that person died).
Data for August 4, 2020 (reported on August 5) show there are 98 accredited testing sites (74 RT-PCR and 24 GeneXpert laboratories) in the country. How many are functional is a totally different question altogether as the number of testing facilities submitting reports on time is a work in progress.
The Philippines has tested approximately 1.4 percent of the total population as it registers 1,527,133 individuals tested.
We will break down the 3,462 cases tomorrow and find out which region aside from NCR, Region IVA, and Region VII made it to the top five.
The data yesterday
As of August 3, 2020, 1,509,407 individuals have been tested. For that day alone, 2,901 positives were noted from 24,743 individuals tested with reports from 72 out of 89 (81 percent) testing facilities. The daily positivity rate is slightly down at 11.7 percent and the cumulative positivity rate remains at 9.6 percent.
With 6,352 cases reported, the Philippines ranked seventh in the world for most number of cases yesterday, overtaking Spain, Russia and Mexico for new cases.
The top five regions in terms of total cases are NCR (59,805), Region VII (16,954), Region IVA (13,113), Region III (3,114), and Region VI (1,580).
There are now 5,895 cases with no known region, making up 5.2 percent of the total cases reported.
With 3,139 cases in NCR, Mega Manila owns close to 50 percent the total cases. Calabarzon is in second with half the cases of NCR (1,584) followed by Region III with 363, Region VII with 272, and Region VIII rounds up the top five with 130 cases.
All regions reported double digits.
There were 190 (3 percent) individuals classified as unknown.
There were 79 (1.2 percent) cases from repatriates reported.
A total of 428 (6.7 percent) had no tagged location on various levels: 190 had no known region while the rest had no identified municipality/city broken down as follows: NCR (223), Laguna (five), Cavite (three), Batangas (four), and Bohol (one). There were four cases in Region IVA that had no known province
NCR hauled in the bulk of cases, 3,139.
Nine cities had three digits, namely Quezon City (720), Manila (389), Pasig (252), Navotas (216), Caloocan (195), Mandaluyong (169), Parañaque (160), Taguig (138), and Makati (120).
Cities with double digits but more than 50 cases were all the remaining cities except for Pateros that had 10 cases. These cities are Pasay, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Las Piñas, Malabon, and San Juan.
Among the other top regions outside of NCR, the following provinces in those regions had the highest cases: Laguna with 592 cases in Region IVA, Bulacan with 212 cases in Region III, Cebu with 261 cases in Region VII, and Leyte with 65 cases in Region VIII.
Of the 1,584 cases reported in Region IVA, the following cities reported triple digits: Santa Rosa (168), Calamba (166), General Trias (128), Dasmariñas (118), and Biñan (100).
Double digits were seen in the following: Antipolo, Cainta, Trece Martires, Cabuyao, Imus, San Pedro, Bacoor, Carmona, Taytay, Lipa, Batangas, Silang, Tanza, Rodriguez, Binangonan, San Mateo, General Mariano Alvarez, Tanauan, Nasugbu, Santo Tomas, Pililia, and Indang.
The others reported single cases.
A total of 90 cities/municipalities in Calabarzon reported cases.
Fourteen cases had no known cities/municipalities.
Region III now has the third most number of cases, with 363 cases yesterday. San Jose del Monte in Bulacan had the highest cases with 41. Other cities with double digits were Marilao, Santa Maria, Cabanatuan, Balagtas, Malolos, Hagonoy, San Fernando, Bulacan, Bocaue, Mariveles, and Meycauayan.
Other cities had single digit with 71 cities/municipalities reporting at least one case.
Region VII was in fourth with 272 cases. Cebu City had 83 cases. The other cities that reported cases were: Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, and Liloan.
Other cities reported single digits, with one case with no tagged location on a city level.
Region VIII finishes the top five with 130 cases. While 53 cities/municipalities reported cases, all were single digit.
As of yesterday, the seven-day average for cases and deaths in the Philippines is up at 4,140 cases/day and 24 deaths/day, respectively.
With fewer than 250,00 new cases yesterday, the seven-day average is approximately 260,000 cases/day. This brings to more than 18.7 million coronavirus cases in the world. On track to 19 million by tomorrow.
There were 6,903 deaths reported yesterday with a seven-day average up at 5,798 deaths/day. The number of deaths have now passed the 700,000 mark.
The global case fatality rate is lower at 3.76 percent and recoveries even slightly up at 63.76 percent. [Recovery rates are not very reliable indicators because they are subjective based on the country’s definition of how and when they consider patients “recovered.” Case in point is the Philippines with the sudden time-based endpoint change. Death rates on the other hand, while more definitive of outcomes take a longer time to report and validate.]
Data from WorldOMeters.info.
The United States is close to 5 million total cases with 54,504 new cases reported yesterday.
The top three states with new cases yesterday were Texas (+11,210), Florida (+5,446), and California (+5,156).
Brazil remains in second with 2,808,076 total cases with the highest number of cases in the world yesterday at 56,411. The country also had the highest deaths, with 1,394 deaths.
India remains in third and closes in to almost two million cases with 51,282 new cases.
Note that USA, Brazil and India are closing in to their next million mark.
With more than 3,000 cases today and now averaging more than 4,140 cases/day, the Philippines which is now in 24th spot, will displace several countries in the next day or two.
Based on the latest data of the World Health Organization, the Philippines now ranks number one in the Western Pacific Region with respect to most number of cases, pulling away from China. Other countries like Japan and Australia are now facing a second wave of infection from the pandemic.
Easing up the economy definitely has a price to pay.