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.”]
More cases today than yesterday.
With 4,933 confirmed cases reported today from 97 of 109 laboratories, the Philippines now has 187,249 total coronavirus cases.
Of the 4,933 cases today, 57.7 percent was from National Capital Region (NCR) alone. NCR continues to contribute 50 to 60 percent of the total cases in the country. Three provinces in Calabarzon account for almost 20 percent of the total. The Health Agency reported 152 cases from Bulacan.
Forty-nine (49) cases were removed from the total case count.
The almost 5,000 cases now bring the total active cases to 69,362, with 1.9 percent or around 1,317 being either severe or critical. Whether they are hospitalized or not is not mentioned by the Health Agency.
To help the public understand the infographics, DoH divides the reports according to more recent (last 14 days) and the rest as “backlogs.”
As in the past days, 80 percent of the data are recent while the remaining are backlogs.
Of the 4,933 reported today, 4,017 were confirmed cases from August 9 to 22. The week of August 1 to 8 had the biggest backlog with 489 cases, followed by July with 340. Just when you think it’s over, they’re still sifting through March to June, with NCR and CALABARZON still reporting cases from way back.
The backlogs account for the higher volume of cases coming from these two regions. For example, NCR had only 2,316 reported cases from the recent 14 days, but 529 additional from the backlog period. The same is true for Region IVA which has recently seen a huge increase in daily cases. For the past 14 days, the region had 826 cases, but the additional 225 backlog cases pushed its confirmed reported cases to 1,051 today.
Other regions that report three digits today: Central Luzon (283), Western Visayas (168), Central Visayas (119), and Eastern Visayas (104).
There were 81 repatriates reported today (42 recent while 41 backlogs).
“Of the 4,933 cases reported today, 4,188 (85 percent) do not have information on date of onset of illness, 171 do not have information on date of specimen collection, while 147 do not have information on both.” (Yet the Department of Health insists on using the Date of Onset of Illness for reporting for a reason that needs a rational explanation.)
“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.”
There were 436 recoveries (with 15 cases being removed from the recoveries) bringing down the recovery rate from 62.8 percent yesterday to 61.4 percent today. Our recovery rate is now lower than the global recovery rate (again). We await if there is any clean-up drive tomorrow.
There were 26 reported deaths: 17 (65 percent) from NCR, three from Central Luzon, two from Caraga, one apiece from Regions I, VI, IX, and IVA.
Of the reported deaths, 13 occurred in August, 10 in July, and one each in April, May and June.
This brings the case fatality rate down to 1.58 percent.
Among the death reports, 19 cases were previously tagged as recoveries but were removed from this category after validation (most likely died).
As of this writing, there is no cumulative testing statistics data reported by the Health Agency. Nevertheless, the breakdown in testing results for the day before is provided.
The data yesterday
As of August 20, 2020, 2,095,094 individuals have been tested with 3,837 testing positive from 32,203 individuals tested. The report is from 93 of 104 laboratories (89 percent submission rate). The daily positivity rate is up at 11.9 percent. The cumulative positive rate remains at 10.5 percent.
While NCR has officially passed the 100,000 mark it continues its upward trajectory with cases averaging 2,800/day. Of the 182,365 confirmed cases, NCR owns 56.5 percent of the total. Based on total contribution in overall count by region, Calabarzon is second with 25,909 cases followed by Central Visayas with 18,934, Central Luzon with 6,280, and Western Visayas with 3,448 rounding up the top five.
There were 188 repatriates reported yesterday, bringing their total to 8,148. The repatriates is still the fourth biggest contributors to the coronavirus cases in the Philippines.
Only BARMM reported single digit case with seven.
There were fifty-four (54) cases with no tagged location on a regional level.
The top five regions for August 21, 2020 were NCR, Calabarzon, Central Luzon, Western Visayas and Bicol Region.
There were 228 unknowns (4.76 percent) with no tagged location on various levels: 54 no known region, with the remaining having no tagged locations at the municipality/city level. NCR had the most individuals with untagged location with 148.
As in the previous months, NCR continues to churn in the numbers with around 55 to 60 percent of cases belonging to Mega Manila alone.
Ten cities reported triple digits with Quezon City having 485 cases followed by Manila with 323. Other cities with more than 200 cases included Caloocan and Valenzuela.
The rest of the cities with more than 100 but fewer than 200 cases were Parañaque, Pasig, Taguig, Malabon, Makati, and Marikina.
Cities with double digits and more than 50 cases were Pateros, Mandaluyong, Pasay, Las Piñas, San Juan, and Navotas.
Only one city had 50 or fewer cases, Muntinlupa.
Among the remaining four top regions, the following provinces had the highest cases in the respective region: Cavite with 267 cases for Region IVA, Bulacan with 138 cases for Region III, Negros Occidental with 73 for Region VI, and Camarines Sur with 57 cases for Region V.
Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Batangas contribute to 94 percent of the cases in Calabarzon. There were almost 1,000 cases from Region IVA yesterday.
Twenty five cities/municipalities (from 14 yesterday) reported double digits. Bacoor, Calamba, Imus, Santa Rosa, Antipolo, Biñan, and Cainta had more than 40 cases.
Fifty-nine cities/municipalities had single digit cases.
There were 23 cases with no tagged location on a city/municipality level.
Region III had 288 cases, with the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga reporting 75 percent of the total in Central Luzon.
Angeles, Marilao, San Jose del Monte, and Santa Maria were the four top cities/municipalities in yesterday’s numbers. Five more cities/municipalities reported double digits but had less than 20 cases.
There were two cases with no tagged location.
Fifty eight cities/municipalities in Central Luzon reported single digit cases.
Region VI is now fourth (as the number of cases in Region VII have significantly declined). The cities of Bacolod and Iloilo are have 41 and 33 cases, respectively.
The fifth spot highlights which region makes a major shift in numbers for the previous day.
Yesterday, Region V (Bicol Region) led by Camarines Sur and Albay had the most number of cases by province.
By cities/municipalities, Baao, Naga, and Legazpi were the top cities/municipalities in the various provinces.
One case had no tagged location.
The seven-day average for cases yesterday was slightly down at 4,114/day but the seven-day average for deaths was up at 71/day.
There were a little more than 260,000 cases yesterday with a seven-day average now touching less than 250,000 cases/day.
Deaths for the day yesterday was 5,178 with a seven-day average now lower at around 5,500 per day.
In spite of these numbers, the world has crossed its next million with over 23 million cases to date. And these are just the reported ones, the tip of the iceberg. The bottom of the iceberg? Anywhere between three to 10 times the total number.
The global case fatality rate stays at 3.47 percent and recoveries at 68 percent. As the number of confirmed cases increase, the fatality and recovery rates now slow down. [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.”]
Data from WorldOMeters.info.
The United States has now almost 5.8 million cases with California, Texas, and Florida reporting the top three cases yesterday. The US had the most deaths reported in the world yesterday at 1,170.
Brazil remained in second with more than 3.5 million cases but has been seeing better numbers with a down trend for confirmed cases in the past week with a seven-day average of around 35,000 cases/day.
India remains in third spot globally but continues to have the highest number of new confirmed daily cases as it continues to report close to 70,000 cases. It is set to cross the next million mark tomorrow.
The top 10 countries contributing to the pool of coronavirus cases for August 21, 2020 were:
The Philippines came in 10th in countries with the most coronavirus cases yesterday.
And the top 10 countries with highest deaths reported for August 21, 2020 were:
While we were not in the top 10 in death reports, we were actually number 14 with 59 deaths reported yesterday. Based on death count, our deaths/M population for COVID-19 stood at 27/M population.
The reproduction rate for the Philippines is at 1.05 but will vary depending on the region. For example, areas like NCR have a Rt of 1.16 (in spite of the high numbers). That is because the number of cases remain constant daily. On the other hand, provinces like Quezon have a Rt of 1.45, Laguna at 1.21, Cavite at 1.15.
One of the important parameters at knowing how we are doing in controlling the coronavirus infection in the country is to keep the Rt < 1 and it must stay that way for 14 continuous days.
The other two parameters? Cases in the community at less than 90 percent of the current cases (<200 a day for NCR) and a positivity rate < 5 percent.
Banner photo from DOH CHD - Bicol on Facebook