Mariveles, Bataan recorded 170 of the 198 cases in the province. Photo of Mariveles skyline from Wikimedia Commons

Bataan reports an alarming 198 new cases, with 86 percent coming from one municipality

Another alarming detail: the increasing number of ”unknowns” or individuals with no tagged location
BENJAMIN CO, MD | Sep 15 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.”]

While we centered on the deaths yesterday, one-fourth (25 percent) of the recent cases (1,027 out of 4,090) were “unknowns” or individuals with NO TAGGED LOCATION ON A REGIONAL LEVEL. It’s alarming because you don’t know where in the Philippines these patients are even from. Technically, you don’t know who to contact trace OR isolate.

Today, the unknowns continue to grow with one-third of the recent cases (September 2-15, 2020) or 1,060 out of the 3,177 have no tagged location.

Which leaves us with a question – is the data reliable?

The Health Agency reports 3,544 newly announced cases today with 15 laboratories failing to submit information. Bringing the total to 269,407 confirmed cases.

Of the 57,392 active cases, there is an increase in the severe and critically ill patients from 3.4 percent yesterday to 4.1 percent today. Converting to numerical value, this is an increase from 1,822 to 2,354 cases or more than 700 cases overnight in this category.

NCR accounted for only 19 percent, while the top five provinces (including NCR) contributed to only 41.4 percent of the total cases today. Why the sudden good news? Well, because the bad news is that 1,060 of the cases or a staggering 33.4 percent have no tagged location—or classified as the unknowns.

Based on the data, the region that topped today’s count was Region IVA, overtaking NCR for the first time with 761 cases vs. 690 cases, respectively. Region VI also overtook Region III to take third place with 276 vs 261 cases, respectively.

The question is – who owns the bulk of the 1,060 unknowns – with both the NCR and CALABARZON still receiving the lion’s share of the backlogs.

Summary of the recoveries and fatalities today

  • Recoveries: 395 reported today, recovery rate 77 percent (down)
  • Fatalities: 34 reported today, case fatality rate 1.73 percent (down)
  • NCR reported 13 total deaths followed by CALABARZON with 5.
  • 29 of 34 (85.3 percent) of the deaths occurred in September while there were reports of deaths as far back as April.
  • 538 cases were previously tagged as recoveries but on further validation were removed from the list.

With 122 testing facilities, the DoH reports 2,977,106 individuals tested as of September 14, 2020 or an increase of over 50,000 individuals tested overnight. Around 2.73 percent of the total population have been tested for SARS-COV2.


Testing capacity

  • 2,931,967 individuals tested (~ 2.69 percent of total population) as of September 13, 2020
  • September 13, 2020: 2,592 positives from 23,634 individuals tested. This is one of the lowest recorded number of samples and individuals tested since July 15, 2020. Surprising considering that there are more than 110 accredited laboratories compared to three months ago.
  • Reports from: 95 of 114 testing laboratories (83 percent submission rate)
  • Of the 2,592 positives on September 13, 2020, 64 percent (1,661) were reported from 33 of 42 testing facilities in NCR.
  • Daily positive rate for September 13, 2020: 11 percent (down)
  • Cumulative positive rate for September 13, 2020: 10.6 percent (unchanged)

The summary

  • Total number of confirmed cases: 265,888 (as of September 14, 2020)
  • Total cases yesterday (September 14, 2020): 4,699 newly reported (4,090 recent or 87 percent from September 1-14, 2020)
  • Region with highest number of cases for September 14, 2020: NCR – 1,498 (1,102 recent).
  • Top regions (with more than 100 cases) for September 14, 2020: NCR, Region IVA, Region III, and Region VI
  • Regions with single digit report: CARAGA
  • Repatriates: 54 new cases (Total: 10,986 as of September 14, 2020).
  • Unidentified on a regional level: 1,027 cases!!! (25 percent of the total cases)

The unknowns (Cases with NO TAGGED LOCATIONS)

Total unknowns: 1,482 (31.5 percent up from 5.43 percent the day before).

  • Regional level: 1027
  • Provincial level: 226 (198 from CALABARZON, 24 from MIMAROPA, 1 each from Central Luzon, Ilocos Region and CARAGA)
  • City/Municipality level: 230 (130 from NCR, 34 from Cavite, 10 from Zamboanga del Sur, 6 from Camarines Sur and the rest from other provinces in the country)

The known (Top 5 Regions)

  • NCR: 1,498 newly announced cases (1,102 cases or 73.6 percent recent)
  • More than 100 cases: Quezon City, Pasay, Manila and Mandaluyong
  • 50-100 cases: Caloocan, Valenzuela, Taguig, Pasig, Malabon, Parañaque, Makati
  • 10 to less than 50 cases: Las Piñas, Marikina, Muntinlupa, San Juan and Navotas
  • less than 10 cases: Pateros
  • Untagged location at city/municipality level: 130 (9 percent)
  • Top provinces by region for the day: Cavite (Region IVA), Bataan (Region III), Negros Occidental (Region VI), Cebu (Region VII).


  • Region IVA remained in second: 936 (830 cases or 89 percent recent)
  • Cavite was on top with 221 cases followed by Batangas, Laguna, and Rizal with triple digits
  • Antipolo (in Rizal) led the region on a city/municipality level with 50 cases.
  • 21 cities/municipalities reported double digits.
  • Unknowns (no tagged location): 198 at the provincial level, 41 at the city/municipality level

Region III came in third: 517 (486 cases or 94 percent recent)

  • The province of Bataan grabbed the spotlight from Bulacan with 198 new cases (38.3 percent)
  • And Mariveles in Bataan recorded 170 of the 198 cases in the province (86 percent)
  • No tagged location: 1 on a provincial level and 5 on a city/municipality level (1 Bulacan, 3 Pampanga, 1 Zambales)

Mariveles, a first class municipality in Bataan has a population of less than 130,000 people (as of 2015 census). It recorded its first case in March this year and had 6 cases in April, 6 in May, 8 in June, 30 in July, 217 in August and 519 in the first fifteen days of September. It now has a total of 787 cases and 4 deaths. 

  • Western Visayas came in fourth: 134 cases (127 cases or 95 percent recent)
  • Negros Occidental owned 87 (65 percent) of the cases in the region
  • Bacolod City still had the most cases (44 of the 87 or 51 percent in Negros Occidental)
  • Central Visayas was in fifth for the second straight day but continued to have less than 100 cases
  • The province of Cebu owned 80 of the 91 (88 percent) cases
  • Cebu City reported the highest number on a city/municipality level with 28 cases.
  • 7-day average of new cases as of September 14, 2020: 3,880 cases/day (higher)
  • 7-day average of new deaths as of September 14, 2020: 105 deaths/day (higher)


  • Global case fatality rate: 3.17 percent (lower)
  • Global recovery rate: 72.2 percent (higher)

Close to 270,000 new cases were added yesterday, pushing up the global 7-day average to close to 280,000 cases/day.

The total global deaths were slightly up with 4,447 deaths posted, bringing the 7-day death average to still more than 5,000 deaths/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 80,000 new cases.
  • The Philippines is back on the top ten list this time in ninth spot with 4,699 new cases reported.
  • India continued to account for the most number of deaths in the previous day.
  • With 259 deaths reported by the Philippines, it marked the second straight day among the top ten countries with most deaths. While we were in 10th place the other day, we climbed to 5th yesterday.

With Italy on a second wave since the beginning of August, their 7-day average is now at 1,425 cases/day. Yet much less by 2,000 cases daily from the Philippines. And that’s where the difference lies. If the numbers remain constant, it will take more or less 10 days before the Philippines overtakes Italy, once the European country of despair during the beginning of the pandemic, for the 20th place in the world rankings for coronavirus cases.