Metro Manila’s Covid-19 positivity rate exceeds WHO benchmark — OCTA

Published June 22, 2022, 2:14 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz


The Covid-19 positivity rate in Metro Manila has increased to 5.5 percent, which is above the 5 percent benchmark recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), a fellow of the OCTA Research Group said on Wednesday, June 22.

Positivity rate refers to the number of individuals who yielded positive results from among those who were tested for Covid-19.

According to the benchmark set by the WHO, a positivity rate of below 5 percent should be maintained to ensure that Covid infections are contained.

Dr. Guido David said that the increase in cases in the country is mostly driven by the rise in infections in Metro Manila, Benguet, and parts of Western Visayas and CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon).

“We haven’t seen this many cases in a while. Since early May, the seven-day average [number of cases] has been continuously increasing. Nationwide, the reproduction number has increased to 1.84 and in Metro Manila it is at 2.0. What that means is in Metro Manila, one person with Covid is now infecting two others,” he said in an interview with ANC.

“It is becoming a cause for concern, though not a cause for alarm yet. Hospitalizations are still low in NCR [National Capital Region], around 21 to 22 percent, for the last week. It has not really increased much. But we know that hospitalizations tend to not increase with the surge because there is a lagtime. [However], we are optimistic that hospitalization will not reach a critical level because, after all, this is still weaker subvariants of Omicron that I think are spreading,” he added.

‘Weak’ or ‘minor’ surge

David defined the situation in Metro Manila as a “weak” or “minor” surge.

“The Department of Health does not want it to call a surge because they have their own definition of a surge. Definitely, it’s an increase in cases. We have categorized it as possibly a weak surge. These terms just give some sort of clarity for what we can expect. In the same way, when there is a super typhoon. If we hear that there is a super typhoon, we know that it’s a very strong typhoon, but if it is a tropical depression, we know that it is not gonna be as hard-hitting,” he explained.

“Here, we don’t expect it to be like the surge we had in January or the surges in 2021—the Delta surge and Alpha/Beta surge,” he added.

David said the country may have up to 2,000 daily cases by the end of June or the first week of July.

“We might see a few thousand cases per day nationwide. We might see up to 2,000 cases by the end of June or first week of July. We think that the peak will happen close to that period, first week or second week of July,” he added.

In a briefing on Tuesday, June 21, David said that Metro Manila may record 500 to 1,000 cases per day by the end of June or early July.

He also noted that Covid infections in Metro Manila may peak by the first week or second week of July.