IN CHARTS: COVID-19 cases in the Philippines

Over a year since the first confirmed case on January 30, 2020, the total number of cases in the Philippines already breached 1.9 million on August 29.

The chart below shows the number of confirmed cases reported by the Department of Health (DOH) per day. See also the country's 7-day running average for daily new cases.

After a surge of cases that peaked at 6,958 infections on August 10, 2020, the country's 7-day average for new cases went below the 3,000 level in late September, then dipped below 2,000 by late October after a brief spike.

In mid-January, after the holiday season and the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant, the 7-day average neared the 2,000 mark again. In the weeks that followed, it held steady above 1,500. But in late February, the uptick in new cases continued as the average crossed 2,000 once more.

On March 13, the country logged 5,000 new cases again. The last time that happened was in late August 2020. New one-day records were set in the following months, the last of which was 19,441 cases on August 28.

The 7-day average of new cases briefly dipped below the 5,000 level around mid-July, then went up again due to the presence of the more infectious Delta variant.

Cumulative counts

See below how the total number for confirmed cases, active cases, deaths, and recoveries have progressed each day in the country, based on the DOH's data.

Status of active cases

As of August 29, a total of 143,221 out of 1,954,023 cases were said to be active, comprising 7.33% of all confirmed cases.

Most of these active cases have mild conditions, according to the DOH.

Per location

Here is a snapshot of the current status of COVID-19 in each province and independent city. It shows the number of new cases for the day, how the 7-day average of new cases has spiked or dipped in the last two weeks, the two-week growth rate of new cases, the two-week average daily attack rate (ADAR), and the number of active cases per 100,000 people.

The color codes for the two-week growth rate and two-week ADAR are based on DOH's risk classifications.

You may search for a province or city or sort the columns in the table below.

Then here is a look at the COVID-19 situation per region.

(Find out the breakdown of cases per major area: Metro Manila | Luzon | Visayas | Mindanao)

Cases by date of onset

In its separate daily situation reports, the DOH uses the date of onset of illness (or in its absence, the date of specimen collection) to show the earliest occurrence of the virus in each case.

Looking at this chart, the number of new cases started to go up around June 2020, then reached its peak on August 10. By October, it went down to below 2,000.

An uptick that started in February 2021 peaked at over 12,000 in early April. The upward trend happened again in late July, reaching as high as 18,000 by mid-August.

The seven-day average of new cases by date of onset was at above 14,000 as of August 28.

Community quarantines in many areas around the country had been relaxed around June 2020, but some had returned or remained under strict lockdowns. From August 6 to 20, 2021, for instance, Metro Manila will be under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) once again, in light of possible surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant.

Deaths

As of August 29, there have been 33,109 deaths out of 1,954,023 confirmed cases in the country. This is equivalent to a case fatality rate of 1.69% for the Philippines. This is below the global case fatality rate of around 2.08%, based on data from the World Health Organization.

As in the tally for total cases, there are delays and data issues in reporting out the deaths and adding them to the national tally.

For instance, out of the single-day record of 401 deaths reported on April 9, 2021, the DOH said 213 "were previously tagged as recoveries [but] were reclassified as deaths after final validation."

Looking at the deaths by date of death, the number first peaked around late March 2020, then again in August, with 88 deaths on August 11. It went down then held steady until around March 2021, when it rose again.

So far, the highest one-day toll by date of actual death is 164, logged on April 16. The month of August, however, saw another uptick in deaths.

Below, compare the charts for deaths by date reported and by date of actual death.

As of August 29, only 32,937 of 33,109 reported deaths (or 99.48%) have dates of death and are labeled as "Died" in the DOH dataset. This means the chart for COVID-19 fatalities based on date of death is not yet the complete picture.

Recoveries

As of August 29, there have been 1,777,693 recoveries out of 1,954,023 confirmed cases in the country. This means a case recovery rate of 90.98% for the Philippines.

The most recoveries reported in a single day was 72,607, on April 18. The DOH explained that this sudden spike in recoveries was due to their implementation of a "mass recovery" program, where mild and asymptomatic cases are tagged as recoveries based on discharging criteria by the World Health Organization and endorsed by Philippine medical societies.

This program had been implemented weekly from mid-August 2020 until mid-April 2021, when the DOH started running it daily.

See below the chart for recoveries by date reported.

Meanwhile, in the DOH dataset as of August 29, only 408,603 of 1,777,693 recoveries (or 23%) indicate a date of actual recovery and are tagged as "Recovered." The DOH attributed the missing dates of actual recovery to "the incomplete and inaccurate contact information placed in the Case Investigation Forms." (READ: How complete is DOH's coronavirus dataset?)

By age bracket

So far, those in the 25-29 age bracket are the most affected by COVID-19, followed by those aged 30-34. Meanwhile, deaths due to the disease are mostly in the older age brackets.

Case status over time

From March 9, 2020, when the country logged more than 10 total cases, the rate of active cases had hovered above 60%, until it sharply went down to 25% on July 30, when the DOH reported over 38,000 recoveries due to a "mass recovery" program. It then shot up again to as high as 53% on August 15, but dropped to below 20% around late September.

The rate for active cases returned above 10% in mid-March, then settled below 10% again by late April.

As for the Philippines' case fatality rate, it hasn't gone above 10% since March 9, 2020. It displayed a slow, downward trend since late April, reaching a low of 1.54% on August 25. However, it slowly inched upwards since then, hitting 2% again on January 25, 2021.

The most recent peak, at 2.16% logged on February 20, was the highest case fatality rate in nearly 7 months. It has remained below 2% since March 19.

Bed occupancy

Here is a snapshot of the occupancy rates of COVID-19-dedicated beds, as well as the usage rates of mechanical ventilators in hospitals and health centers per region.

Positivity rate

Looking at the two-week moving average of the country's positivity rate – a snapshot of recent test results – it has been at above 5% again since late December 2020.

After a spike in April 2021 that went up to 25%, this rate was in the 10-15% range from May until August. It skyrocketed again to 27.87% on August 27.

As of August 28, the two-week positivity rate stood at 25.4%.

This means the country is the 20% range that is among the criteria for an area to fall under the "Community transmission – level 4" category, according to the World Health Organization's latest guidance issued in November.

That category indicates there is a "very high incidence of locally acquired, widely dispersed cases in the past 14 days," and there is a "very high risk of infection for the general population."

A rate of 5-20% means there is a "high risk" of infection, below 5% means a "moderate risk," while below 2% means a "low risk."

Maintaining a positivity rate of 5% or below for at least two weeks indicates that an area "has sufficient testing capacity for the size of their outbreak and is testing enough of its population to make informed decisions about reopening," explained the John Hopkins University.

Testing output

The Philippines has tested over 17.4 million individuals as of August 28.

After logging a high of over 44,000 individuals tested on September 11, the number of daily tests slowed down from October 2020 to January 2021. It slumped further during the Christmas and New Year holiday break.

The pace improved in March and April, reaching the high levels recorded in September 2020 then picked up again only in August. On August 26, over 73,000 individuals were tested, the highest number yet.

(In the chart below, data for recent days may still be incomplete due to delays in the submission of test results by some testing laboratories.)

– Rappler.com

Michael Bueza

Michael is a data curator under Rappler's Tech Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.

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