The daily average number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Metro Manila is now down to 1,900, OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said on Tuesday, May 11.
“Several of the indicators are trending in the right direction. So the number of cases per day on a seven-day average in NCR (National Capital Region) is actually 1,930. We’re already averaging less than 2,000 cases per day in the NCR,” David said in an ANC interview.
In the OCTA Research Group’s report released Sunday, May 9, it projected that the daily average number of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila will fall below 1,900 by May 14.
“The decrease in NCR is very significant, it’s actually 65 percent lower compared to the peak of the surge. In some LGUs (local government units), the decrease from the peak is already above 80 percent,” David pointed out.
As of Tuesday, Metro Manila’s COVID-19 reproduction number was further down to 0.65.
“It has been stable at less than 1,” David said.
“The positivity rate has decreased to 14 percent. The positivity rate is a strong indicator of a downward trend. Even hospital utilization has decreased. Hospital bed utilization is less than 60 percent, [while] ICU utilization is less than 70 percent,” he added.
While the downward trend continues, David said that easing of quarantine restrictions should be studied cautiously.
“Of course, the virus is still there in NCR but what we are saying is that the trend has improved significantly. Well, we’re not recommending easing of restrictions per se what we are saying is that we support the decision of the national government whether to extend MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) or to ease restrictions to GCQ (general community quarantine) or retain MECQ but ease some restrictions. There are several options available,” he explained.
“What we are saying is that the conditions right now are suitable or acceptable for a possible easing of restrictions. But if we do ease restrictions, our recommendation is to do it gradually and calibrated. We might also recommend extending the [NCR plus] bubble [because] the concept of the bubble is very important,” he added.
Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, also known as the “NCR plus,” were placed under one bubble setup since March 22. It means that only authorized persons can do essential travel into and out of these areas.
“We want people to still be following health restrictions, health guidelines because these are very important, and if we open up everything the possible message that everything’s okay and we people might start to become complacent again. We have to remind the people that the variants are still spreading,” David said.