Six months after the Philippines imposed a lockdown in Metro Manila and Luzon, we assessed how the Philippines is performing so far in its fight against COVID-19.
Among others, we found out that Metro Manila remained the country’s pandemic “epicenter” at the time. The country’s positivity rate also hovered above the WHO benchmark. Hospitals got a breather after stricter quarantines were temporarily implemented in some hot spots, but critical care levels are still far from reassuring. We also pointed out issues with the dataset from the Philippines’ health department.
The story showed readers the situation in the country 6 months into a lockdown that was meant to lessen the spread of COVID-19. Experts also weighed in on what issues in government responses and cases data itself still persist, and what more needs to be done to plug the gaps.
The data from the Department of Health were processed using Microsoft Excel and Google Spreadsheets, then visualized using Datawrapper and Flourish.
What was the hardest part of this project?
The hardest part was summarizing the data into digestible sections, so that the readers would not be inundated with too much information. We chose 6 crucial points that highlight emerging trends in confirmed cases, as well as raise possible areas of concern as the pandemic continues to rage.
What can others learn from this project?
We hope that we have encouraged readers to explore the public dataset themselves and spot other observations that they could ask the government, health authorities, and even experts.
We also hope that readers would have learned the importance of data as a guide in forming decisions and policies to respond to the pandemic.