The irony of today’s announcement? There were more deaths (259) than recoveries (249). Photo from ABS-CBN News

Philippines posts highest number of deaths in a single day with 259 cases

All the data that’s coming in don’t really espouse any evident gain during the various lockdowns we’ve had to go through in the last 6 months.
BENJAMIN CO, MD | Sep 14 2020

[Disclaimer: Whatever is written here is based on information released by the Department of Health at the time of publication. Whatever changes the 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.”]

The deaths. It overshadowed the rest of the dreadful data announced today by the Health Agency.

The highest number of deaths reported in the Philippines in a single day – 259 cases (with 78 percent or 207 of them occurring in July and August). The surprise? 297 initially announced as recoveries were removed from the list. They’re either still fighting for their lives or they’ve passed on.

The irony of today’s announcement? There were more deaths (259) than recoveries (249).

Of the 4,699 cases reported today, 4,090 (87 percent) had a date of onset of illness between September 1-14, 2020. The sad news (after the bad news on deaths) was that 25 percent (or one-fourth) of the cases reported had NO TAGGED location on a regional level. How do you even do isolation or contact tracing with such a large number with no location from the get go?

The icing on the appalling news at the first work day of the week? There were 15 laboratories that failed to submit data to the CDRS on September 13, 2020. Imagine what the data would look like if we had 100 percent submission. [Note that while there are 122 accredited facilities already, not ALL are operational yet.]

The disposition of 3.4 percent of the active cases? 1,822 (a rise from 1,760 yesterday) are now classified severe/critical.

The top 5 regions were NCR, Region IVA, Region III, Region VI and Region VII. Region VII, however, had less than 100 cases. Only NCR remains to have a significant backlog.

Summary of the recoveries and fatalities today

  • Recoveries: 249 reported today, recovery rate 78 percent (down)
  • Fatalities: 259 reported today, case fatality rate 1.74 percent (up)
  • For the second time, NCR reported triple digits with 154 deaths followed by Central Visayas with 55, and CALABARZON with 28 deaths.
  • 78 percent of the reported deaths today occurred in the months of July and August. There were deaths reported as far back as April.
  • 297 cases were previously tagged as recoveries but on further validation were removed from the list (which could only mean they died).

Now with 122 testing facilities, the DoH reports 2,921,142 individuals tested as of September 13, 2020. This is around 2.68 percent of the total population.


Testing capacity

  • 2,895,628 individuals tested (~ 2.65 percent of total population) as of September 12, 2020
  • September 12, 2020: 3,426 positives from 30,252 individuals tested
  • Reports from: 91 of 114 testing laboratories (79.8 percent submission rate)
  • Of the 3,426 positives on September 12, 2020, 72 percent (2,451) were reported from 32 of 40 testing facilities in NCR
  • Daily positive rate for September 12, 2020: 11.3 percent (up)
  • Cumulative positive rate for September 12, 2020: 10.6 percent (unchanged)

The summary

  • Total number of confirmed cases: 261,216 (as of September 13, 2020)
  • Total cases yesterday (September 13, 2020): 3,372 newly reported (2,850 recent or 84.5 percent from August 31-September 13, 2020)
  • Region with highest number of cases for September 13, 2020: NCR – 1,307 (1,070 recent).
  • Top regions (with more than 100 cases) for September 13, 2020: NCR, Region IVA, Region III, and Region VI
  • Regions with single digit report: None
  • Repatriates: 10 new cases (Total: 10,769 as of September 13, 2020).
  • Unidentified on a regional level: 165 cases

The unknowns (Cases with NO TAGGED LOCATIONS)

Total unknowns: 183 (5.43 percent up from 1.39 percent the day before)

  • Regional level: 165 unknown
  • Provincial level: 1 (Central Luzon)
  • City/Municipality level: 17 (0 from NCR and 7 from Cavite, 5 from Camarines Sur and the rest from other provinces in the country)

The known (Top 5 Regions)

  • NCR: 1,307 newly announced cases (1,070 cases or 82 percent recent)
  • More than 100 cases: Quezon City, Manila, Valenzuela, Caloocan, and Makati
  • 50-100 cases: Las Piñas, Parañaque, Mandaluyong, Pasay, Pasig, Malabon, Taguig, and Marikina
  • 10 to less than 50 cases: Muntinlupa, San Juan and Navotas
  • less than 10 cases: Pateros
  • Untagged location at city/municipality level: None
  • Top provinces by region for the day: Cavite (Region IVA), Bulacan (Region III), Negros Occidental (Region VI), Cebu (Region VII).
  • Region IVA was in second: 739 (577 cases or 78.1 percent recent)
  • Cavite was on top with 240 cases followed by Laguna, Rizal, and Batangas with triple digits
  • Imus (in Cavite) led the region on a city/municipality level with 58 cases.
  • 22 cities/municipalities reported double digits.
  • There was 7 unknown at this level from Cavite.
  • Region III came in third: 322 (305 cases or 95 percent recent)
  • The province of Bulacan maintains the lead with 145 cases (45 percent of the region)
  • It was Mariveles (in Bataan) that registered the highest number of cases on a city/municipality level. Eight other cities/municipalities reported double digits.
  • No tagged location: 1 on a provincial level and 1 on a city/municipality level (Nueva Ecija)
  • Western Visayas came in fourth: 299 cases (253 cases or 85 percent recent)
  • Negros Occidental owned 199 (67 percent) of the cases in the region
  • Bacolod City had the most cases (116 of the 199 or 58 percent in Negros Occidental)
  • Central Visayas was in fifth for the second straight day but had only 78 cases.
  • The province of Cebu owned 74 of the 78 (95 percent) cases
  • Cebu City reported the highest number of cases on a city/municipality level.
  • 7-day average of new cases as of September 13, 2020: 3,410 cases/day (higher)
  • 7-day average of new deaths as of September 13, 2020: 71 deaths/day (unchanged)


  • Global case fatality rate: 3.19 percent (lower)
  • Global recovery rate: 72 percent (higher)

As in every weekend, the numbers go down (or are under reported). The weekend ends with less than 250,000 new cases yesterday but the 7-day average is up at close to 275,000 cases/day.

The total global deaths were also down with 3,669 new deaths reported ending with a 7-day average of close to 6,000 deaths a day.

The United States passes the 6.7 million mark, with California, Texas and Florida as top three contributors to the pool of coronavirus cases. Both the United States and Brazil have begun to see a larger decline in total number of cases over the past two weeks.


India continues to dominate the global numbers with more than 90,000 cases again. It now has close to 4.9 million cases. It also led in over-all deaths in the world yesterday with 1,140 newly announced deaths. In spite of this, the case fatality rate in India is lower than the Philippines (1.64 percent vs. 1.67 percent, respectively).

Brazil remains in third place but has seen considerable slowing down of the number of new cases and new deaths.

  • India continues to top the list with more than 90,0000 new cases.
  • Indonesia was in 10th spot yesterday with 3,636 reported cases.
  • India continued to account for the most number of deaths in the previous day.
  • With 79 deaths reported by the Philippines, the country is 10th on the list of pool of deaths due to COVID-19 yesterday. With 259 deaths and 4,699 cases today, without doubt we will definitely be in the top ten tomorrow. A painful reality.

All the data that’s coming in don’t really espouse any evident gain during the various lockdowns we’ve had to go through in the last 6 months.

What is evident though is that there’s a daily surprise in store for us. While they may not be good ones, the Health Agency has not ceased to amaze me these days. There’s always room for them to provide a shocker for the day.