COVID surge moves outside NCR, raises cases by 200 percent in provinces | Inquirer News
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COVID surge moves outside NCR, raises cases by 200 percent in provinces

By: - Content Researcher Writer / @inquirerdotnet
/ 05:21 PM January 21, 2022

Artwork by Ed Lustan

MANILA, Philippines—While a “steady decrease” in COVID-19 cases was seen in Metro Manila, new cases outside the region and the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan are rising exponentially.

READ: Cautious optimism swirls around NCR as COVID cases decline

This was declared by Dr. Guido David, a fellow of OCTA Research, who said that from less than 4,000 on Jan. 12, new COVID-19 cases outside NCR Plus spiked to almost 12,000 on Jan. 20–a 200 percent increase in just eight days.

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This surge was also seen by the Department of Health (DOH) on Jan. 18 with health officials saying that while there were provinces with lower COVID-19 cases than NCR Plus, “continuous and swift increases” in infections were observed in all provinces.

READ: COVID-19 cases surging in all regions and provinces, says DOH

David said on Twitter that the areas with the most new COVID-19 cases on Jan. 20 were Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Cebu, Rizal, Bulacan, Batangas, Davao del Sur, Iloilo, Pampanga, Benguet, and Misamis Oriental.

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Graphic: Ed Lustan

The other provinces with notable spikes in cases were Isabela, Pangasinan, Negros Occidental, Bataan, Zamboanga del Sur, Cagayan, Leyte, and Camarines Sur. Currently, the Philippines has 275,364 active COVID-19 cases.

INQUIRER.net consolidated data from the DOH and Centers for Health Development to have a grasp of how COVID-19 cases spiked in some of the provinces which only had an average of 20 to 500 active cases on Jan. 3:

  • Batangas

Jan. 19: 3,187

Jan. 18: 3,049

Jan. 17: 2,862

Jan. 16: 2,735

Jan. 15: 2,646

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Jan. 14: 2,186

Jan. 13: 2,224

Jan. 12: 1,644

Jan. 3: 92

  • Quezon

Jan. 19: 1,223

Jan. 18: 1,079

Jan. 17: 880

Jan. 16: 917

Jan. 15: 791

Jan. 14: 791

Jan. 13: 839

Jan. 12: 611

Jan. 3: 109

  • Cagayan

Jan. 19: 3,326

Jan. 18: 3,181

Jan. 17: 2,944

Jan. 16: 2,746

Jan. 15: 2,564

Jan. 14: 2,341

Jan. 13: 1,911

Jan. 12: 1,448

Jan. 3: 84

  • Isabela

Jan. 19: 2,346

Jan. 18: 1,440

Jan. 17: 1,451

Jan. 16: 1,515

Jan. 15: 1,484

Jan. 14: 1,292

Jan. 13: 1,108

Jan. 12: 815

Jan. 3: 33

  • Pampanga

Jan. 19: 5,816

Jan. 18: 5,816

Jan. 17: 5,646

Jan. 16: 5,036

Jan. 15: 4,730

Jan. 14: 4,715

Jan. 13: 3,898

Jan. 12: 3,116

Jan. 3: 193

  • Pangasinan

Jan. 19: 2,359

Jan. 18: 2,156

Jan. 17: 1,962

Jan. 16: 1,711

Jan. 15: 1,496

Jan. 14: 1,295

Jan. 13: 1,069

Jan. 12: 896

Jan. 3: 65

  • La Union

Jan. 19: 2,266

Jan. 18: 2,083

Jan. 17: 1,917

Jan. 16: 1,690

Jan. 15: 1,281

Jan. 14: 1,007

Jan. 13: 836

Jan. 12: 609

Jan. 3: 24

  • Benguet

Jan. 19: 1,927

Jan. 18: 1,641

Jan. 17: 1,403

Jan. 16: 1,322

Jan. 15: 1,017

Jan. 14: 828

Jan. 13: 638

Jan. 12: 415

Jan. 3: 34

  • Camarines Sur

Jan. 19: 1,977

Jan. 18: 1,854

Jan. 17: 1,713

Jan. 16: 1,633

Jan. 15: 1,428

Jan. 14: 1,297

Jan. 13: 1,159

Jan. 12: 1,037

Jan. 3: 257

  • Negros Occidental

Jan. 19: 1,533

Jan. 18: 1,441

Jan. 17: 1,365

Jan. 16: 1,195

Jan. 15: 1,083

Jan. 14: 940

Jan. 13: 866

Jan. 12: 738

Jan. 3: 454

  • Iloilo

Jan. 19: 1,630

Jan. 18: 1,542

Jan. 17: 1,306

Jan. 16: 1,203

Jan. 15: 1,119

Jan. 14: 1,002

Jan. 13: 884

Jan. 12: 785

Jan. 3: 505

  • Cebu

Jan. 19: 2,179

Jan. 18: 1,841

Jan. 17: 1,537

Jan. 16: 1,319

Jan. 15: 1,072

Jan. 14: 858

Jan. 13: 668

Jan. 12: 518

Jan. 3: 168

Omicron in PH

Dr. Alethea de Guzman, director of the Epidemiology Bureau of the DOH, said the rise in COVID-19 cases was driven by the Omicron, a more contagious variant of SARS CoV2, the virus that causes the disease.

She explained, however, that this was likewise driven by increased mobility, reduced compliance with minimum public health standards, as well as delays in detection and isolation.

Graphic by Ed Lustan

Last. Jan. 19, the DOH and the Philippine Genome Center and National Institutes for Health of the University of the Philippines said there were 535 cases of Omicron in the Philippines.

They said 495 of the 535 Omicron cases were detected from specimens that were sequenced on Jan. 14. These consist of 332 local cases and 160 returning overseas Filipinos.

The DOH, last Jan. 15, confirmed the community transmission of Omicron in Metro Manila, saying that while genome sequencing efforts could not keep up with the spike in COVID-19 cases, “we already have determined that there are local cases already.”

READ: DOH confirms community transmission of Omicron variant in Metro Manila

Graphic by Ed Lustan

There are 227 Omicron cases in Metro Manila; 76 in Calabarzon, 11 in Central Luzon, five in Central Visayas; two cases each in Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

Ilocos Region, Mimaropa, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao have one Omicron case each. The government said 467 have already been tagged as recovered.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, also spokesperson of the DOH, had said that if this kind of transmission persists, the time will come that Omicron will become the dominant COVID virus variant in the Philippines.

Critical risk

Last. Jan. 15, the DOH identified five regions–Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Cagayan, Valley, CAR, and Central Luzon–with critical case risk classification for COVID-19. The rest of the regions have high-risk classification.

Based on data from the DOH and the Centers for Health Development, Metro Manila has 101,914 active cases; Calabarzon has 31,563; Cagayan Valley has 6,627; CAR has 8,914; and Central Luzon has 28,798.

These regions were also consistently on the list of regions with most new COVID-19 cases. The others were Bicol Region, Central Visayas, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Davao Region, Northern Mindanao, and Zamboanga Peninsula.

Malacañang, last Jan. 20, said that the stricter Alert Level 4 will be imposed in Kalinga, Ifugao, Mountain Province, and Northern Samar from Jan. 21 to 31. Alert Level 3 had been previously imposed in these provinces.

While COVID-19 cases in the Philippines already reached 3.3 million with 31,173 new cases that were confirmed on Jan. 20, the DOH previously said “we are still yet to see the peak which may happen by the end of this month or even later in the second week of February.”

David, who expects “roughly the same range of new cases [of] about 29,000 to 33,000 total with a median of 31,000,” said people should continue to comply with health protocols.

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