COVID-19 situation in NCR now on ‘reverse trend’ but experts warn ‘we’re still in the midst of terrible surge’

Published April 15, 2021, 2:28 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation in the National Capital Region (NCR) is now on a  “reverse” trend but experts warn that “we are not out of the woods yet” as a surge in virus infections may still occur.

In a press briefing hosted by the Quezon City government on Thursday, Professor Ranjit Rye of OCTA Research Team said the reproduction number of COVID-19 in Metro Manila is already decreasing but the region is still “in the midst” of a “terrible, terrible” virus surge.

“The R [reproduction number] is slowly going down but it’s not yet below 1,” Rye said. “Vaccinations are taking time for many reasons… [and] NCR will always be vulnerable to surges until we achieve herd immunity.”

Quezon City, the largest city in Metro Manila and the city with the highest “absolute number” of new COVID-19 cases, is already “healing,” according to Rye. He said, it is important because if the city’s situation “is managed,” then “the situation for the whole NCR is [also] managed.”

“So, napaka-crucial po ng Quezon City (So, Quezon City is very crucial in terms of managing COVID-19 infections). Quezon City is trying very hard,” he said.

Meanwhile, another OCTA Research fellow, Dr. Guido David said the government, civil society, and the private sector “have to work harder to maintain this possibly downward trend” since “it is actually starting to reverse again.”

He pointed out that “this does not mean” that the public “can be complacent already” as hospitals are still congested and healthcare workers are still “overwhelmed” in terms of workload.

“It is OCTA’s conviction that if Quezon City becomes healthy… NCR improves also,” David said, “I think these improvements will become a trend by next week.”

Data presented by Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte showed that as of April 14, the city has 9,181 active COVID-19 cases and 53,236 recoveries.

According to Belmonte, the latest number of its active cases is lower than the 11,027 recorded on April 8, and 12,021 on April 13.

“I’m hoping that based on this information, this may be the proof that our situation in Quezon City is improving. I pray that this is not an aberration. I pray that this is a sign of the city’s healing,” she added.