OCTA Research: Metro Manila ICUs may reach 70% occupancy before Aug. 15

Published August 11, 2021, 10:57 AM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

(The sign says it all at the Adventist Medical Center in Pasay City in this photo taken Tuesday, August 10, 2021, as the Department of Health (DOH) also said extending the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) remains a possibility amid the rising number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Metro Manila. (Ali Vicoy)

About 67 percent of intensive care unit (ICU) beds allocated for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Metro Manila are occupied as of Aug. 10, independent research group OCTA said in its latest report.

“Over the past seven days, ICU utilization increased by an average of 22 occupied ICUs per day. Based on this trend, ICUs in the NCR will reach 70 percent occupancy before Aug. 15, 2021,” OCTA said in its report released on Wednesday, Aug. 11.

This means that once it reaches 70-percent occupancy rate, Metro Manila’s ICU utilization will be put in the high-risk classification.

OCTA also noted that hospital bed occupancy in Metro Manila has increased to 57 percent.

Meanwhile, the research group observed that the reproduction number in the National Capital Region (NCR) has decreased to 1.74 on Aug. 10, from 1.80 two days ago.

“While this is a welcome development, it is too early to determine if this is the start of a new trend. A change in direction of the reproduction number (i.e. from increasing to decreasing or vice-versa) always carries the most uncertainty, and the trend should be clearer within the next few days,” OCTA said.

Reproduction number refers to the average number of secondary infections by each infected individual. It is the primary indicator used by OCTA to study COVID trends.

On Aug. 10, Metro Manila reported 2,168 new COVID-19 cases, which is lower than the 2,848 reported three days ago.

The most recent seven-day average in the NCR was 2,297, an increase of 43 percent from the previous week’s seven-day average.

“Preliminary projections show that the seven-day average may not exceed 2,500 new cases per day. If the early projections turn out to be correct, this means that surge capacities in terms of testing and hospital utilization might not be breached,” it pointed out.

OCTA said the current incidence rate or average daily attack rate (ADAR) in Metro Manila is 16.45 per 100,000 per day. This level of ADAR puts the NCR in the high-risk classification.

It noted that the seven-day positivity rate in Metro Manila also increased to 16 percent.