Increase of Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila 'not significant to cause alarm' - DOH

The reported increase in Covid-19 cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) is not considered significant by the Department of Health (DOH) to cause alarm to the public.


In a press briefing on Monday, May 2, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that this uptick is not considered significant since it does not not translate to an increase in the average daily attack rate (ADAR) as well as increasing admissions in hospitals.

Independent research group OCTA reported a seven percent increase on Sunday, May 1.

"Ito hong sinasabi na may pagtaas ng seven percent, basically the same yung ating trend kasi dito po pag tiningnan natin sa NCR, in the aggregate form nung mga numero, nakita natin bumaba pa tayo ng four percent doon sa aggregate number ng cases across all 17 localities in the NCR (Even with this seven percent increase being reported, we're basically in the same trend because when you look at NCR, the aggregate form of the number, we saw that even went down by four percent sa aggregate number of cases across all 17 localities in NCR)," Vergeire explained.

Vergeire said that there is indeed an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila as they are monitoring five areas who have shown positive two-week and one week growth rates. But further analysis, according to Vergeire, showed that the case increase was from two Covid-19 cases to 30 cases which she said does not translate to an increase in the ADAR as well as hospital admissions.

On the other hand, she also mentioned that they are monitoring two areas in NCR whose isolation wards have an increased utilization rate. One has 60 percent while the other has almost 50 percent. But after further analysis, she said that most of the admissions were mild and asymptomatic.

"Talagang nandito na yung Covid (Covid-19 is really here), we're living with it actually. Ang mga pagtaas, pag increase ng mga kaso na ganito (These increase in cases) we have to deal with that and manage it," she said.

So far, Vergeire said that the Covid-19 cases are not translating to increase in severe and critical cases, increased hospital admissions and the healthcare system's capacity remains to be manageable.

Meanwhile, infectious disease expert Dr. Edsel Salvana said that it's very important when talking about percentages to look at the baseline numbers. He said that the public should not immediately panic when seeing a percentage increase and should look at the baseline number.

He said that the aforementioned seven percent increase may not have been adjusted for the date of symptom onset and given that there are less than 100 cases in Metro Manila, that seven percent increase translates only to seven Covid-19 cases.

"We're not saying it's not significant, of course we always have to be vigilant. Pero dahil (But because) we're learning to live with the virus, at tinataas po natin yung level of activity natin (and we're increasing our level of activity), we really expect na dadami talaga yan (that the cases will increase)," he said.

"But because marami na rin tayong bakunang nabibigay (we have administered a lot of Covid-19 vaccines), alam natin na kahit dumami yan (we know that even if Covid-19 cases increase), the percentage of people who will have severe disease, it's not going to be like it was two years ago," he added.

Salvana also mentioned that even if Covid-19 cases were to increase while we are opening the economy, the healthcare system will not be overwhelmed.