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We Now Have the Fastest Rising Cases of COVID-19 in West Pacific Asia.

The Philippines overtakes Singapore and China in daily cases of COVID-19.
IMAGE UNSPLASH/WIKIPEDIA
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The World Health Organization (WHO) has just released data on the number of new COVID-19 cases emerging in Asia, and it was found that the Philippines has the fastest rate in terms of new cases being recorded every day for the month of June.

The Philippines outpaced Singapore and China from May 29 to June 26 in terms of new cases recorded daily. From June 16 to June 27 alone, the Philippines recorded 8,143 new cases of COVID-19, placing it ahead of 22 countries in the Western Pacific Asia region.

Singapore recorded 2,351 cases in the same period, while China recorded 302.

In the following graph, the differently colored bars represent the number of new cases recorded by different countries in Western Pacific Asia. Most of the new cases in the region are from the Philippines, according to the World Health Organization.

Daily Cases of COVID-19 in Western Pacific Asia

Photo by World Health Organization.
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In terms of the number of total cases, China leads with 83,500 as of June 28. Singapore comes in second with 43,246. The Philippines places third with 34,803.

But in terms of lowering the number of new cases daily, both China and Singapore have been more successful, as seen in the following graphs based on the data provided by the WHO.

Daily Cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines

Photo by World Health Organization.
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Daily Cases of COVID-19 in Singapore

Photo by World Health Organization.

Daily Cases of COVID-19 in China

Photo by World Health Organization.
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China and Singapore have been aggressive at implementing mass testing and contact tracing for COVID-19.  China has a daily testing capacity of 3.8 million, while Singapore has been conducting 40,000 tests a day.

The Philippine Government promised a testing capacity of 8,000 tests a day by the end of April, but it did not meet this target and only met it in May. On May 5, the government once again promised to conduct 30,000 tests a day by the end of May, but again missed the target and promised to meet it by the end of June. Currently, the Philippines is processing 15,000 to 16,000 tests a day.

DOH Says Not to Cherry-Pick Information

In a statement released on Sunday, June 28, the DOH warned people not to compare the Philippines with Singapore because “the comparison made with Singapore and other countries requires a deeper understanding of population ratio versus number of cases.”

“Per one million people, Singapore has a higher case at 7,393 cases per one million population compared to the Philippines which has 318 cases per one million population,” said the DOH in a statement.

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According to the DOH, Singapore's case fatality rate is 4.4 deaths per million population while Philippines has 11.34 deaths per million population.

"Please take that into account when we do our analysis. Let us not cherry-pick the countries we want to compare ourselves to," said the DOH.

On June 26, Vice President Leni Robredo urged government to stop praising itself and instead work on addressing its missed targets in its COVID-19 response. “

Dapat sana ang tanong natin, ‘what are we doing wrong?’ para nahahanapan natin ng paraan. What alarms me is pataas na nga nang pataas, pinupuri pa natin ’yung mga sarili natin na tama ’yung ginagawa natin,” said Robredo.

(“We should ask what we are doing wrong so we can find solutions. What alarms me is while the number of cases is increasing, we are still praising ourselves.”)

As of June 28, the Philippines has 34,803 total cases of COVID-19, of which, 24,137 are active cases. There are 9,430 cases of recoveries and 1,236 deaths.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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