While the downward trend in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in NCR (National Capital Region) Plus area continues, independent research group OCTA noted that it has been slowing down over the past week.
Citing the data from the Department of Health, OCTA Research fellow Dr. Butch Ong said the reproduction number in Metro Manila has slightly increased to 0.69.
The current COVID-19 reproduction number is higher than the 0.5 during the previous week.
“In fact the last few days kung mapapansin natin bumabalik tayo sa 7,000 to 8,000 new cases per day (if we noticed, we are going back to 7,000 to 8,000 new cases per day),” Ong said during the Laging Handa public briefing on Monday, May 31.
“Yung trending ay hindi pa talaga stable so maaari pa talagang tumaas yung ating daily new cases sa NCR Plus bubble (The trending is not really stable yet so our daily new cases in the NCR Plus bubble can still really increase),” he added.
The NCR Plus bubble, which consists of Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan, remains under heightened general community quarantine until May 31.
“As more people are going around we have increased mobility therefore we have increased exposure and increased risk of acquiring COVID-19,” Ong explained.
“Siguro ay dapat pag aralan pa nang maigi kung ready na ba tayong mag MGCQ [modified enhanced community quarantine] dahil yung ating trending sa NCR Plus ay hindi pa stable. Hindi pa siya masyado bumababa nang continuous (Maybe we should study more carefully if we are ready to shift to MGCQ because our trending in NCR Plus is not yet stable. It has not gone down continuously),” he said.
“We can still go for the heightened GCQ and observe the trending for this coming week. Napakaimportante itong linggong ito so yung ating mga kababayan let’s focus on conducting the minimum health standards ngayong linggong ito dahil ito ang critical week kung kailan mapababa pa natin ang ating daily new cases (This week is very important so let’s focus on observing minimum health standards this week because this is the critical week when we can lower our daily new cases),” he added.
Ong also noted that cases of COVID-19 have been increasing in some areas outside Metro Manila, specifically Isabela, Cagayan, Iloilo, Misamis Oriental, Davao, South Cotabato, and Camarines Sur, which could be due to community transmission or transmission due to inbound travel.
“Yung positivity rate ng mga nabanggit kong lalawigan ay medyo mataas, more than 20 percent (The positivity rate of the provinces I mentioned is quite high, more than 20 percent),” Ong pointed out.
“Siguro kailangan din natin i-heighten din ang vaccine rollout sa mga metro provinces, cities sa mga nabanggit kong lalawigan (Maybe we also need to heighten the vaccine rollout in the metro provinces, cities in the provinces I mentioned),” he said.