COVID-19’s reproductive rate slightly increases, says DOH
MANILA, Philippines — The reproductive rate of the coronavirus disease or the R-naught (R0) has slightly increased from 1.09 last week to 1.23 as of Monday, which means a confirmed COVID-19 patient can infect a slightly higher number of individuals.
According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, the slight increase in the reproductive number was brought by the spike of cases in areas being monitored, like the National Capital Region and Cebu City.
The R-naught or R0 is the transmission rate of a disease, where the number equals to how many people a patient can infect, where an R-naught of one means each patient can infect another potential patient.
“1.23 po ang ating reproductive number as of today, and base po sa nakaraang linggo, ‘yong July 6 po natin, 1.09 po. Ngunit ito po ay dahil meron tayong nakikitang pagtaas ng bilang ng mga kaso sa mga binabantayan po nating lugar katulad po ng Cebu at NCR, na dala po ito ng community transmission,” Vergeire said.
(Our reproductive number as of today is at 1.23, and based on last week’s record, the July 6 data was at 1.09. But this is just because we are seeing an increase in the number of cases in areas were are currently monitoring, like Cebu and NCR.)
“Katulad po ng aming pinapaliwanag noon, ang reproductive number ay ang average po na bilang ng mga taong maaaring mahawa ng isang COVID-positive individual. Ibig sabihin po sa ulat nating reproductive number ngayong araw, sa bawat isang kaso ay makakahawa po tayo o ‘yong indibidwal ng isang tao,” she added.
(And as we have said before, the reproductive number is the average number of persons who may be infected by one COVID-19 positive individual. This means for the reproductive number that we have reported today, every case can infect one person.)
Vergeire clarified that this R-naught number is still lower than global averages, which pegs the number of people who may get infected per patient at two to three.
“Tandaan po natin na kapag mas mababa po ang R-naught, ay mas okay po tayo. Kaya patuloy po tayong pagpursigihin na ibaba natin ang R-naught sa pamamagitan ng pagsunod sa ating mga minimum public health standards,” she explained.
(Let us remember that the lower the R-naught number, the better we fare. That is why we should strive to lower the R-naught by following the minimum public health standards.)
“Bagamat bahagyang tumaas po ang R-naught, mas mababa pa rin po ito sa latest global reproductive number na nasa two to three. Ibig sabihin po base sa global average, bawat isang COVID case ay maaaring makapanghawa ng dalawa o tatlong katao,” she noted.
(While the R-naught slightly increased, this is still lower than the latest global reproductive number which is at two to three. This means based on the global averages, each COVID-19 cases can infect two or three other persons.)
Recently, Malacañang was surrounded by controversy after they celebrated the country beat the University of the Philippines (UP) prediction of 40,000 COVID-19 cases by the end of June, as the country only had less than 38,000 by that time.
But the newest prediction from a group of experts at UP’s OCTA Research appears to be more possible than the last time around, as they believe the country can register 60,000 cases by the end of July — given the high R-naught rate which is still not below the ideal less-than-one level.
“This indicates that the pandemic is not yet on the downward trend. Moreover, community spread is uneven throughout the archipelago. At this time, the province of Cebu has significantly higher transmission rates than the rest of the country,” the group said.
Currently, there are now 57,006 confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide — with 1,559 patients dead and 20,371 recovered.
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