MANILA — The current spike in the Philippines' COVID-19 cases is not just driven by infections in Metro Manila, which is now on its third hard lockdown since the pandemic began in early 2020.
According to ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido, while more than half of new COVID-19 infections came from Metro Manila in July to August last year and during the peak of the surge in April this year, the recent uptick is also driven by other areas in the Philippines.
"We are not seeing that right now. While there is a clear increase in cases coming from Metro Manila, the higher national total is not just driven by cases in NCR [National Capital Region]" Guido said.
"This is a battle on multiple fronts."
These regions posted the highest COVID-19 cases on Saturday, based on health department data analyzed by ABS-CBN Data Analytics:
- NCR - 2,823
- Calabarzon - 1,864
- Central Luzon - 1,233
- Central Visayas - 1,049
- Western Visayas - 779
- Northern Mindanao - 656
- Ilocos Region - 596
Guido added that the NCR's daily tally is the highest in over 3 months or since May 2.
The top 13 provinces and highly urbanized cities with at least 250 cases are:
- Cavite - 662
- Laguna - 630
- Quezon City - 540
- Bulacan - 520
- Manila - 376
- Cebu Province - 371
- Taguig - 293
- Cebu City - 287
- Ilocos Norte - 282
- Rizal - 279
- Pampanga - 260
- Davao City - 251
- Aklan - 250
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Saturday said fresh cases in the country would continue to rise in the coming days, as the tougher lockdowns in Metro Manila and other areas are primarily aimed to slow the growth of infections and prepare the country's health care system.
Only NCR, Laguna, Iloilo City, Bataan, and Cagayan De Oro are under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until the middle of August.
Cavite, Iloilo province, Rizal, Lucena City, Cebu City, Cebu province
Ilocos Norte, Lapu-Lapu City, and Mandaue City are under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until Aug. 15.
On Saturday, Philippines marked the second straight day of having over 10,000 new cases, and the third straight day of more than 100 fresh fatalities.
Experts have warned of an explosion in infections fueled by the Delta variant that could overwhelm hospitals in the coming weeks if restrictions are not drastically tightened in the crowded capital.
The Philippines has recorded almost 1.65 million coronavirus infections — the second highest in Delta-ravaged Southeast Asia —including nearly 29,000 deaths.