FALSE: Bicol has highest COVID-19 cases in the Philippines

At a glance
  • Claim: Bicol has the highest COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: A YouTube video makes this claim, citing a CNN Philippines report. However, the report doesn't say Bicol has the highest number of cases in the country. According to the Department of Health COVID-19 tracker, the National Capital Region still has the most COVID-19 cases, with 521,035 recorded, as of June 20.
  •  Why we fact-checked this: The video containing the claim has garnered 28,046 views, 923 likes, and 265 comments, as of writing.
Complete details

A video uploaded by YouTube channel “Showbiz Fanaticz” on June 17, 2021, falsely claimed that Bicol has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines. As of writing, the video has gained a total of 28,046 views, 923 likes, and 265 comments.

In an earlier part of the video, it says, “Narito ang exclusive report kung saan kinumpirma mismo ng CNN news sa kanilang official website na ang Bicol na ang isa sa may pinakamaraming COVID-19 cases na ayon mismo sa kanila ay maihahalintulad sa bansang India.”

(Here’s the exclusive report, wherein CNN news confirmed in their official website that Bicol now has one of the highest number of COVID-19 cases, which, according to them, is comparable to India.)

However, further into the video, it says, “Ayon sa balita ng CNN Philippines, ang kanyang mga kababayan sa Bicol ang nakararanas ngayon ng may pinakamataas na COVID-19 cases, ayon mismo sa exclusive report.”

(Based on the report of CNN Philippines, [Vice President Leni Robredo’s] fellow Bicolanos are experiencing the highest COVID-19 cases, as stated in the exclusive report.) 

The title of the video also reads, “CONFIRMED: VP LENI, KINARMA AGAD MATAPOS LAITIN ang DAVAO CITY| BICOL REGION PINAKA MARAMING COVID!” (Confirmed: VP Leni received her karma after her insulting remarks about Davao City | Bicol Region has the highest COVID cases!)

The claim is false.

The June 16 CNN Philippines report cited by Showbiz Fanaticz did not mention that the Bicol region has the highest cases in the country. They only explained the surge in COVID-19 cases, which led to a shortage of supplies, facilities, and medical frontliners.

“On Monday, several medical groups in Bicol flagged the ‘worsening’ surge of cases in May and June due to localized transmission sweeping most parts of the region. They recorded an average of 183 new cases daily, with Camarines Sur, Albay, and Sorsogon as the biggest source of new infections,” the report said. 

In a joint letter to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, several medical groups said Bicol might end up like the COVID-19 situation in India if the strictest form of quarantine wouldn’t be followed. (READ: Doctors fear Bicol might be like India, urge gov't to place it under ECQ)

"If the current situation is not addressed, it is our fear that what is happening in India may not be far behind," the medical groups said.

According to the Department of Health COVID-19 tracker, the region with the most COVID-19 cases, as of June 20, is still the National Capital Region (NCR), with 521,035 total cases. Calabarzon had the highest new cases from June 10 to 16, with 5,076 in total. Bicol had 996 total cases from June 10 to 16. (READ: IN CHARTS: COVID-19 cases in the Philippines)

Rappler has fact-checked Showbiz Fanaticz multiple times in the past. Read more about their fact-checked claims below:

– Nicole Anne Perez/Rappler.com

Nicole Anne Perez is a Rappler intern. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler's research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler's internship program here.

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