OCTA sees spike in COVID-19 cases in some cities outside NCR

Published May 9, 2021, 10:11 AM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

OCTA Research group on Sunday, May 9, identified “areas of concern” due to a rise in new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the past week.

OCTA research fellow and University of the Philippines professor Dr. Guido David identified Cagayan de Oro City, Puerto Princesa City, Zamboanga City, and Bacolod City as the areas of concern.


“Yung Cagayan de Oro at Puerto Princesa medyo may pagbilis sa pagtaas ng cases kaya definitely areas of concern sila. (Cagayan de Oro and Puerto Princesa have a slight increase in the number of cases, so they are definitely areas of concern),” David said in a Teleradyo interview.

“Pati sa Zamboanga City may spike ng cases for a period of a few weeks hanggang ngayon. Ibig sabihin hindi pa bumababa. Definitely kailangan matutukan yan ng local government. (Even in Zamboanga City there has been a spike in cases for a period of a few weeks until now. That means it hasn’t decreased yet. Definitely the local government needs to focus on that),” he added.

David noted that COVID-19 cases in Puerto Princesa City and Cagayan de Oro City are clustered.

“Sa ngayon medyo mataas yung attack rate nakikita natin especially sa Cagayan de Oro so medyo concerning. (Right now the attack rate we see is quite high especially in Cagayan de Oro so it’s a bit concerning),” he added.

While there is a spike in cases in these areas, David said “it is not yet alarming” because smaller local government units tend to control the situation faster.

“So hindi pa naman necessarily alarming ito kahit na nagkakaroon ng spike kasi agad nilang napapababa tulad ng nangyari for example sa Mountain Province and Kalinga earlier this year. (So it’s not necessarily alarming even if there is a spike because they are immediately reduced as what had happened, for example, in Mountain Province and Kalinga earlier this year), he explained.

“Hindi pa naman natin napipinpoint na [COVID] variants ang dahilan dito. Nakikita lang na may increase sa cases kaya patuloy na imomonitor ang areas na ito. (We have not yet pinpointed which COVID variants are the reason for this. It has only been observed that there is an increase in cases so these areas will be monitored continuously),” he added.

Based on OCTA’s monitoring as of Saturday, May 8, the reproduction number in the National Capital Region (NCR) was further down to 0.69.

David said NCR is expected to have less than 2,000 new cases per day by May 14.

The average number of new COVID-19 cases reported per day in the NCR was 2,347 from May 1 to 7, which is 58 percent lower compared to the peak of the surge from March 29 to April 4.

OCTA said the one-week growth rate in the NCR was 27 percent lower than the previous week, marking the third consecutive week with more than 20 percent decrease in cases.

Moreover, hospital bed occupancy in the NCR for COVID-19 decreased to 51 percent, while intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy for COVID-19 also decreased to 69 percent, which is already below the 70 percent critical level.

However, OCTA said ICU utilization for COVID-19 remained high, with 846 ICUs in the NCR still occupied.