Research team marks ‘clear upward trend’ of Covid-19 cases in NCR
MANILA, Philippines — A “clear upward trend” of Covid-19 cases has been observed in Metro Manila following increased public activity during the holiday season, the Octa Research team said.
In its latest report, Octa said local government units in the National Capital Region (NCR) will need to implement measures to reverse the upward trend “before the pandemic gets out of hand.”
According to the research team, the R naught or the reproduction number of Covid-19 in the NCR has increased to 1.17 as of January 10.
“There is a clear upward trend now, shown as a yellow line, and if this upward trend continues, the local governments will need to implement measures to reverse this direction before the pandemic gets out of hand,” the research group said.
The last time the R naught, which indicates the average number of people who may contract the disease from an infected person, hit above 1 was on December 21, Octa noted.
A reproduction number of more than 1 means that the infection is spreading to more people since one infected person could infect one or more people.
Octa said the R naught during the holidays remained below 1 since testing was reduced by more than 40%.
Now that testing centers are resuming normal operations, the number of new cases has now increased to more than 400, the group added.
Meanwhile, the positivity rate in Metro Manila over the past week remained at 4%, which is below the 5% recommended by the World Health Organization.
Octa Research warned the government of the possibility of a “significant surge” in COVID-19 cases in the next few weeks in Metro Manila due to increased social gatherings.
It said the likelihood of new and more infectious Covid-19 variant may already be in the Philippines and “super spreader” events such as the celebration of the Black Nazarene may contribute to the possible surge.
It then urged the government to further intensify its testing, tracing, and isolation efforts. Effective and stricter border controls should also be in place to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 in airports and seaports, it added.
“Given the real threat of a surge in the NCR, all the LGUs concerned should also start preparing public health systems and personnel, and increase health care capacity to deal with the influx of cases in the next few weeks,” Octa Research said.
The research group also urged the government to expedite the procurement of safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines and efficiently roll out an immunization program.
As of January 12, the Philippines’ total Covid-19 caseload reached 491,258, including 23,532 “active” cases as well as 458,172 recovered patients and 9,554 fatalities.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.