The average number of new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Metro Manila continues to decrease but the ongoing surge in cases remains at a “very high” level, independent research group OCTA showed in its report released on Monday, Sept. 20.
Metro Manila has an average of 5,136 cases on Sept. 13 to 19, down by 13 percent from 5,916 cases on Sept. 6 to 12.
“The reproduction number in the NCR (National Capital Region) decreased to 1.14, from 1.37 just a week ago, moving it closer to 1,” OCTA said.
It also noted that the seven-day positivity rate in Metro Manila has decreased to 23 percent from 25 percent.
Although there are indications that the COVID-19 surge in Metro Manila might have already hit its peak, the research group pointed out that the “decrease in cases needs to be sustained before we can establish with certainty that cases have already peaked.”
“While the changes in the reproduction number and growth rate indicate an improving trend, it must be emphasized that the surge in the NCR is still at a very high level, as indicated by an incidence rate (ADAR) of 36.77 per 100,000 per day, which is considered critical per Covid Act Now guidelines developed with Harvard Health Institute,” OCTA said.
It added that Metro Manila may still register around 4,000 cases per day by the end of September and more than 2,000 cases per day by the end of October.
“This means the healthcare system in the NCR, which currently has 69 percent utilization for hospital beds and 77 percent utilization for ICUs (intensive care units) per DOH, will likely continue to be at or close to staffing capacity until October,” OCTA said.
“There may still be spikes in new cases in the NCR over the next week due to some reporting backlog, but unless the trends change, the daily average in new cases in the NCR should continue to decrease,” it added.
OCTA monitored seven cities in Metro Manila that registered low to moderate reproduction numbers.
Malabon had a reproduction number of 0.88, which is considered “low.”
Meanwhile, reproduction numbers were at a moderate level, between 0.9 and 1.1, in Navotas, Muntinlupa, Manila, Caloocan, Valenzuela, and Pateros.
Outside Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, and Bulacan had “negative one-week growth rates.”
“The key now is to sustain our efforts in order to continue to bring new cases in the NCR and other areas down,” OCTA said.