OCTA sees steady decline in COVID-19 cases nationwide

Published November 18, 2021, 1:26 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

Some people in Divisoria, Manila are no longer wearing face shield on Nov. 8, 2021, the same day the City of Manila scrapped the face shield policy except in hospital and other medical facilities. (Photo by Noel B. Pabalate)

The Philippines may continue to see a decline in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the coming weeks, the OCTA Research group said Thursday, Nov. 18, as it hopes for a merrier Christmas this year.

Research fellow Prof. Guido David the country’s reproduction number, which refers to the average number of secondary infections by each infected individual, was at 0.37.

“Kaya ang nakikita natin, patuloy pa ring bumababa ang bilang ng kaso (So what we are seeing is that the number of cases continues to decline),”David said in a public briefing.

Likewise, he noted that the seven-day average of cases nationwide stood at 1,600 new cases per day, a 27 percent decrease compared to the previous week.

“Hopefully, sa katapusan ng buwan ay baka nasa less than 1,000 na ang seven-day average natin (by the end of the month our seven-day average may be less than 1,000),” David said.

“Sana patuloy pa ang pagbaba ng bilang ng kaso para matuloy na mas maligaya ang ating disyembre (I hope the number of cases continues to decrease so that our December will be merrier),” he added.

Downward trend not artificial

Research fellow Prof. Ranjit Rye said the decreasing number of cases is not artificial as this can also be observed in healthcare facilities where there are lesser infected patients being taken care of.

“We’re projecting that things over the next few weeks will be more predictable and calculable as far as COVID-19 is concerned,” Rye said.

The expert made the assessment based on assumptions that minimum public health standards would be strictly observed, no new variants to emerge, and vaccination efforts would continue.

“We see a positive outlook not just in the national capital region but the whole country in the next month or so…assuming that the trend holds,” he said.

Uptick in cases possible

However, the OCTA fellow warned that a sudden increase in cases may still occur given the increase in mobility following the easing of restrictions and more people are now allowed outdoors.

“It’s possible na may uptick lalo na kasi nag increase na ang mobility, napakarami nang tao sa labas (that there will be an uptick especially because mobility has increased, there are already many people outside),” Rye said.

“Pero dahil inaasahan namin na marami na sa ating mga kababayan, lalo na sa NCR, ay bakunado na (But since we assumed that many people, especially in NCR, are already vaccinated, we wont see the surges that we saw over the last few months,” he added.