MANILA, Philippines – The number of confirmed coronavirus patients in the country reached 10,610, as the Department of Health (DOH) reported 147 new cases as of 4 pm on Saturday, May 9.
The agency reported 8 new fatalities, bringing the total death count to 704.
Meanwhile, 108 more patients have recovered from the disease, bringing total recoveries to 1,842.
Of the 147 new cases, 123 or 84% were from the National Capital Region.
Although the government said the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines has begun to flatten, a mathematician from the Ateneo de Manila University said otherwise.
The epidemic curve or the number of daily new cases reported by the DOH continues to rise, said Ateneo mathematician Felix Muga II.
Although a logarithmic scale graph appears to show the epidemic curve flattening, this system uses a very broad range of data that tends to minimize upward movements of relatively smaller values, such as the numbers of coronavirus cases in the Philippines.
A more focused linear graph shows the epidemic line still curiving upward as more cases are reported daily, Muga said.
Also, the reproduction number, or the number of people one COVID-19 patient infects, is still “hovering above 1,” when a flattened curve should entail a reproduction number below 1.
However, data show the doubling time of the number of coronavirus cases in the country has indeed slowed down, Muga added.
Before April 7, total active cases in the Philippines were doubling every 5 days. After April 7, this slowed down to a doubling rate of 42 days.
COVID-19 case figures may also rise in the coming days as the DOH covers a testing backlog. The increase in numbers then may not represent actual new cases but rather new confirmations of existing cases of the coronavirus.
The Philippines continues to have a low testing capacity, averaging some 5,000 tests daily for its population of over 100 million, but the government aims to carry out 30,000 tests daily by May 30. – Rappler.com