OCTA: Metro cases drop by 25% but spike seen outside capital
MANILA, Philippines — The OCTA Research Group on Friday said the daily COVID-19 case average in Metro Manila had dropped by 25 percent, but a spike in coronavirus infections continued to be observed in areas outside the capital region.
In the seven-day period of May 14 to May 20, the daily case average in Metro Manila went down to 1,299, a 25-percent decline from the number recorded in the previous weeklong period.
OCTA data showed the previous period it referred to as covering May 9 to May 15, overlapping the latest period by two days, when the daily case average was 1,644.
The research group also noted that Metro Manila’s case reproduction rate, or the rate of people getting infected with COVID-19, going down to 0.54 in the May 14 to May 20 period, compared to 0.57 in the previous period.
The capital region’s positivity rate, or the rate of COVID-19 tests turning out positive, and health-care utilization rate remained at 11 percent and 48 percent, respectively—according to Friday’s update by OCTA, and updates last Monday by both the research group and the Department of Health (DOH).
“Health-care utilization rate in the NCR was considered safe at 48 percent,” OCTA said in its latest bulletin.
The group classified nine local government units (LGUs) in the capital region as areas with moderate risk of COVID-19 transmission, as of the May 14 to May 20 period.
These are Navotas, Malabon, Caloocan, Manila, Pasay, Muntinlupa, Taguig, Valenzuela and Quezon City.
Spikes within bubble
“A [local government] with an average daily attack rate (Adar) of less than 10 per 100,000 is [at] moderate risk, according to the Department of Health, while an LGU with an Adar greater than 10 is considered high risk,” OCTA said.
Quezon City, which has the highest number of new cases per day at 312, has an Adar of 9.91, according to OCTA’s monitoring.
The group said “it is slightly concerning that spikes in new cases have occurred … within the NCR Plus bubble.”
It cited Antipolo in Rizal province and Dasmariñas, Bacoor and Imus in Cavite province as among the “LGUs classified as moderate risk.”
OCTA further noted “significant one-week growth rates” of 37 percent and 29 percent, respectively, in Cabuyao and San Pablo in Laguna province. Elsewhere in the country, the group noted growth rates of 69 percent in Iloilo City, 37 percent in Bacolod, and 43 percent in Cagayan de Oro.
These five LGUs are “considered high-risk areas” based on their Adar, which ranged from 11.49 to 13.92, OCTA said.
Zamboanga City is another area of concern for OCTA, which said the city had the second-highest number of new cases per day at 163, “although its upward trend has slowed.”
But the health-care utilization rate remained high in Zamboanga City, as well as in Cagayan de Oro, Baguio City, San Pablo in Laguna, Dasmariñas and General Trias in Cavite, and Tuguegarao in Cagayan. The group said healthcare utilization rates in these areas ranged from 71 percent in Tuguegarao to 96 percent in General Trias.
Virus case update
The DOH on Friday recorded 6,258 new cases of COVID-19, raising the total number to 1,171,403.
There are 55,531 active cases in the country, of which 93.5 percent are mild, 2 percent are asymptomatic, 1.22 percent are moderate, 1.8 percent are severe, and 1.4 percent are critical.
A total of 2,586 patients have recovered, bringing the total recoveries to 1,096,109, while 141 deaths were logged on Friday afternoon, bringing the total fatalities to 19,763.
Based on reports by DOH laboratories on May 19, a total of 44,817 tests were conducted that day, of which 13 percent yielded positive. But five laboratories were unable to submit their results.
The DOH also said 19 cases initially classified as deaths have been tagged as recoveries. Final validation also showed that 74 cases previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths.
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