COVID risk in Metro Manila down to 'very high' from 'severe' -- OCTA


Metro Manila's risk level has been downgraded from "severe outbreak" to "very high," following the steady decline of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the region, based on the internationally-developed Covid Act Now indicators used by OCTA Research Group.

In a tweet on Sunday, Jan. 23, OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said that Metro Manila's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) reproduction number, or the average number of secondary infections by each infected individual, has decreased to 1.20 from 2.95 a week ago.

He noted that the region's COVID-19 growth rate has also decreased to -42 percent, which indicates a "clear downward trajectory in new cases."

Moreover, the average daily attack rate (ADAR) or incidence rate in Metro Manila has dropped to 72 cases per day per 100,000 people but is still at a "very high" level.

Comparing the number of new cases with the projections made in a forum on Jan. 20, David said that the latest figures show that new cases are tracking slightly below projections.

However, he pointed out that while the number of cases in Metro Manila is constantly decreasing, the region is still at very high risk for infections.

Citing the data from the Department of Health, David said that Metro Manila registered 6,646 new COVID-19 cases on Jan. 22--from 7,279 cases on Jan. 21.

"Residents of NCR are advised to continue to practice extreme caution and strictly comply with health protocols in public areas," he said.

Aside from Metro Manila, Rizal and Bulacan had negative growth rates on Saturday but are also still at very high risk for COVID-19, OCTA said.

Meanwhile, Cebu City, Iloilo City, and Lapu-Lapu City registered new highs in cases on Saturday.

As such, David said that Iloilo City is now at "severe outbreak," along with Baguio City. Iloilo City has an ADAR of 82.38, while Baguio City registered an ADAR of 152.39.

Meanwhile, he pointed out that new COVID-19 cases could be peaking in Cavite and Batangas.

In a forum on Jan. 21, David explained that the peak is not the end of the wave but "determining the peak allows us to estimate the timeline of the wave and when cases will return to normal levels."