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By the Numbers: How Big is 2 Million COVID Cases in the Philippines?

Visualizing the pandemic.
by Arianne Merez
Sep 1, 2021
Photo/s: REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

The Philippines on Wednesday passed the grim milestone of two million COVID-19 cases as it ushered in the world's longest Christmas season on the second year of the pandemic.

It took the country over four months since it marked one million COVID-19 cases to reach another million, with outbreaks driven largely by coronavirus variants. 

On Sept. 1, the Department of Health reported 14,216 new infections, bringing the cumulative total since the pandemic began to 2,003,955. There were 140,949 active cases as of Wednesday. The death toll stood at 33,533 while recoveries were at 1,829,473.

Visualizing two million COVID-19 cases might be overwhelming and a bit difficult so we rounded up numbers that could help you picture just how many infections the Philippines has had since the pandemic started.

It's bigger than the entire population of Manila.

REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
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Based on the 2020 census, Manila City's population is 1,846,513. This is 157,442  short of the total 2,003,955 COVID-19 cases of the country.

It's around twice the population of Cebu City.


Two million COVID-19 cases are around double the population of the Queen City of the South. Based on the 2020 census, Cebu City has 964,169 people which doubles at 1,928,338.

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It's like a filled-up MOA Arena 100 times over.

Jerome Ascaño

The Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City can house up to 20,000 people which means that to fit all 2 million COVID-19 cases, 100 MOA arenas would be needed.

It's 36 times the capacity of the Philippine Arena.

Philippine Arena
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The world's largest indoor arena--the Philippine Arena in Sta. Maria, Bulacan--has a seating capacity of 55,000. 

To fit two million COVID-19 cases, you would need 36 more Philippine Arenas with even a bit of spillover.

It's nearly seven times the vehicle capacity of EDSA.

Jerome Ascano

Metro Manila's main highway EDSA has a daily capacity of around 300,000 vehicles according to the MMDA.

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This means that two million COVID-19 cases are like seven times the number of vehicles that pass by the thoroughfare.

These figures were based on the assumption that all two million COVID-19 cases account for one individual each but in reality, COVID-19 reinfections occur which means that these could have been included in the total tally.

But setting aside reinfections, the high number of cases only proves how contagious and dangerous COVID-19 is which heightens the need to observe minimum health standards and getting vaccinated once possible.

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