New deaths were in triple digits for many European nations as they ride their second wave. Photo of Eiffel Tower in Paris, France by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash

Europe grapples with brutal second wave of COVID cases, with record highs for individual countries

How will the Philippines fare as the economy reopens? 
BENJAMIN CO, MD | Oct 17 2020

Disclosure: All data provided are from the Department of Health’s various information sites including their data drop. Where appropriate, other graphs, illustrations, tables and data are appropriately referenced.

October 17, 2020 (updated)

There’s a slight change in reporting the top five “provinces” by the Health Agency. That’s because the National Capital Region is not a province but a region. It’s comparing apples and oranges.

So the top five localities (province/HUC/ICC for the day) are:

As mentioned in the past blogs, the number of total cases have actually not really gone down. It has shifted from Mega Manila to the provinces outside of NCR.


With cases in most countries in Europe, including Germany on a surge, the Philippines now moves lower to 20th in the ranking of countries with most number of coronavirus cases in the world.

Yesterday’s data breakdown


  • With only 64 percent of cases yesterday recent, NCR reported four digits (again) as more than 33 percent of the cases were recorded in September but reported only from the week of October 2-16. [The way the Health Agency reports its cases is confusing, as it differs significantly from the cases reported by the various local governments. There is a need to shift away from the Date of Onset of Illness reporting method as it is not only inaccurate but worthless because more than 75-90 percent of the data collected do not have information regarding this parameter. Consistency in the way data is collected and reported is paramount in epidemiology.]
  • While the provinces in the top 10 are not new in the list, it is Cebu that comes as a surprise. But then it may be data that has been compiled over a period of time and reported only yesterday.
  • Twelve cities in the NCR were in the top 20 cities/municipalities with most cases yesterday. That’s not a surprise considering that 38 percent of the data for the NCR occurred before October 2 (all the way back to March, as if the counting of cases that happened then will never end. Come to think of it, there were simply a handful of testing centers back in March. Why is there so much inefficiency at digging up the data from these testing centers that continue to submit reports or the agency verifying cases all the way back in March and reporting it 7 months later?)
  • Cities outside of NCR that were in the top twenty included: Iloilo City, DasmariƱas (Cavite), Davao City, Calamba (Laguna), Bacolod City, Baguio City, Zamboanga City and Cainta (Rizal).


The world has crossed the 39,000,000 mark and will most likely pass 40,000,000 anytime soon.

It has also broken a new world record with more than 415,000 new cases in a single day recorded overnight (higher than the over 400,000 cases the previous day).

Is the United States headed for its third wave?

  • Global case fatality rate: 2.8 percent
  • A new world record high in number of cases was recorded yesterday with more than 415,000 new cases reported. The global 7-day average of cases is now more than 350,000 cases/day (or approximately 1,000,000 cases every 2.8 days).
  • The US is back on top of the world with the most number of cases and deaths reported yesterday.
  • France continues to report new daily highs and will most likely overtake Mexico for 9th spot soon.
  • Five countries in Europe land in the top 10 new cases yesterday – France, UK, Spain, Czechia and Belgium. The least number of new cases in the top ten is now over 10,000 cases overnight. 

 Above graph shows the 7 day moving average of the daily new cases in the United States. With cases rising in other states like Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Carolina, Indiana and Michigan, the US sees a sudden upswing among its coronavirus cases as they head into the middle of the fall season and towards winter.


Overnight cases in the European continent was up with record highs for individual countries. New deaths were in triple digits for many European nations as they ride their second wave.

With the world economy walking on thin ice in this pandemic, the resurgence is palpably real.

As the Philippine government reopens the economy, we need to remember that while cases in the NCR may be lower, the total number of cases in the country remain constant and the shift to the provinces outside of the NCR may pose problems in healthcare in poorer localities.