If the current trends continue, Metro Manila may begin to see a decreasing number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases by the first or second week of September, OCTA Research said on Tuesday, Aug. 24.
OCTA fellow Dr. Guido David said the first indications that the situation is starting to improve are the decreases in COVID growth rate and reproduction number or infection rate.
“About a week ago, we were seeing a reproduction number of about 1.9 and right now the reproduction number we are seeing is 1.64,” David said in a CNN interview.
“The reproduction number decreasing is in line with the growth rate decreasing. Right now, we’re averaging 3,965 cases per day in NCR [National Capital Region]. This is just 13 percent [down from last week’s average],” he added.
Based on OCTA’s projections, the decrease in cases in Metro Manila may happen around the first or second week of September, David said. He attributed the decline in growth rate and reproduction number to the two-week implementation of enhanced community quarantine.
“We’ve reached 4,800 already but I think we’re going to be capped at around 5,000 cases per day, kumbaga the peak may happen next week [supposing the peak may happen next week]. Hopefully, we will start to go on a downward trend from then in NCR and also in the Philippines,” he added.
He noted that Metro Manila’s COVID infection rate or reproduction number has to go down below 1.0 to see a significant decrease in the number of cases.
While Metro Manila is seeing a slight decrease in the reproduction number, OCTA observed a different situation in other regions.
“For example, in Cagayan, they have recorded 1,000 cases for the first time yesterday. This is high for them, and also in Tuguegarao, they have more than 300 cases for the first time. In other places it’s still surging,” David said.
OCTA maintained its earlier projection that the Philippines may hit 20,000 COVID-19 cases “this week or by next week.”
“Cases will continue to rise as we have mentioned before. It will still get worse before it gets better,” David said.
He reminded the people to adhere to the minimum public health protocols.
“The rate of increase of Delta variant right now is about 62 percent and it will likely be at around 70 percent very soon, by next week based on sampling. So talagang dumadami ang Delta variant [the Delta variant cases are really increasing]. That’s why we are reminding people to be very careful when going outside of their homes. Even vaccinated people, let’s exercise caution,” he said.