Independent research group OCTA urged the government to extend the implementation of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila for two more weeks to see a decrease in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the region.
In a DZBB interview on Saturday, Sept. 4, OCTA Research fellow Prof. Ranjit Rye said the reproduction number in Metro Manila is now below 1.4.
However, the number is still above 1, which means the rate of COVID-19 infections remains high.
Rye pointed out that as long as the reproduction number does not drop below 1, Metro Manila will not see a reduction in the actual number of new COVID-19 cases.
He said the government must already decide whether or not to extend the MECQ.
Metro Manila was placed under MECQ until Sept. 7
Based on OCTA’s projections, Rye said the decrease in COVID-19 cases may not immediately happen.
He asked the government to increase the capacity of the health care system and expand testing, tracing, and isolation to address the rise in cases.
Aside from these, Rye said that accelerating the vaccination rollout will help lower the number of new cases in Metro Manila.
The research group is hoping to see a downward trend of COVID-19 cases by the third or fourth week of September.