(UPDATED) For the first time since the Department of Health (DOH) started listing in October 2020 the five cities and provinces with high numbers of new infections, Cebu City marked a grim milestone by hitting the top of the list on Tuesday, January 26, 2021.
Cebu City dislodged Davao City and Quezon City, two of the areas that have consistently posted high numbers of new cases, to post the highest number of new coronavirus infections in a day.
In the case bulletin issued by the DOH at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Cebu City had 84 new cases, followed by Davao City with 67, Cavite with 51, Quezon City with 47 and Rizal with 41.
These new infections were among the 1,173 new cases confirmed by the DOH on Tuesday.
These brought the total case count in the country to 516,166 as of January 26.
Of the total, 30,357 or 5.9 percent were active cases, or those who are still in the hospitals or in isolation.
Deaths from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) accelerated, with DOH reporting 94 additional mortalities on Tuesday.
These raised the Covid-19 death toll in the country to 10,386.
The case fatality rate went up to 2.01 percent from 2.0 percent a day earlier, and a range of 1.97 percent to 1.99 percent from January 13 to 24.
From January 1 to 12, the case fatality rate was lower at 1.92 percent to 1.94 percent.
There were only 18 recoveries, bringing the total to 475,423 or 92.1 percent of the Philippines’ caseload.
Testing remained low at 17,550 tests on January 25, of which 908 or 5.2 percent yielded positive results. The World Health Organization (WHO) positivity rate benchmark is 5.0 percent.
The cases recorded in the DOH national case bulletin differ from those released by its regional offices.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire previously explained that the data submitted by the regional offices are subjected to another verification process in the national level.
Based on the latest DOH Central Visayas data, Cebu City had 70 new cases of infection on January 25 and 81 cases on January 24.
Cebu City also reported 97 new cases on January 23, the highest since infections accelerated again to double-digit levels on December 29, 2020.
Cebu City was considered one of the Covid-19 hotspots in the country in June and July 2020. It re-entered the DOH national list of areas with high numbers of cases on January 12 (51 cases, fifth), 13 (44 cases, fifth), 22 (80 cases, third) and 25 (88 cases, second).
Cebu Province, with 50 cases confirmed by the DOH central office, had the fifth highest number of infections on January 25.
The DOH case bulletin had undergone several changes. The agency used to list the highest number of cases in terms of regions and provinces, with the National Capital Region (NCR) consistently topping the list. The NCR, or Metro Manila, is the biggest region in the country with a population of over 13 million.
On October 17, 2020, the DOH began listing specific cities and provinces with the highest new infections in its case bulletin. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)