OCTA logs ‘uptick’ of new COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila
MANILA, Philippines — OCTA Research on Tuesday said it has recorded a slight increase in Metro Manila’s COVID-19 reproduction number that was not seen since the region reverted to enhanced community quarantine a few months ago.
According to the independent research group’s latest monitoring report, the case reproduction number in Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR) increased to 1.06 – the first time it went above 1 since April 18.
After maintaining an average of less than 700 new cases over the past four weeks, the average daily new cases in Metro Manila has increased to 701 from July 13 to 19, 2021.
OCTA, however, said these numbers are not enough to determine if it will translate into an increasing trend for the capital region.
“This uptick in the NCR is a cause for concern but not yet a cause for alarm, as it is still too early to determine if this will continue to an increasing trend,” said OCTA.
“The trend in new cases in NCR this week will be important in the outlook for the region,” it added.
Specifically, the cities of Manila and Makati registered the highest reproduction numbers in Metro Manila with 1.21 and 1.22, respectively, according to OCTA, although Manila recorded a one-week growth rate of 35 percent and Makati, a one-week growth rate of 29 percent.
Other local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila with significant one-week growth rates are Valenzuela City at 43 percent; Pasay City, 27 percent; Marikina City, 27 percent; and Parañaque City, 22 percent.
Even if Valenzuela City has the highest growth rate among NCR LGUs, OCTA explained that it does not always have a direct effect on the virus reproduction number.
OCTA also told INQUIRER.net they only computed the COVID-19 reproduction number of the Top 20 LGUs with the highest number of COVID-19 cases. Valenzuela City is not in the Top 20, it added.
In terms of intensive care unit utilization in Metro Manila, the research group said Taguig City is currently on the critical level at 100 percent.
OCTA likewise said that nationwide, Davao City remains the local government unit that has the most number of reported new infections trailed by Quezon City.
According to OCTA, the ranking is based on the risk assessment criteria of the COVID Act Now that was developed with Harvard Health Institute, Bloomberg, Microsoft, and Apple, and the Department of Health.
The town of Mariveles in Bataan province has also been classified again as a “very high-risk area” by OCTA while Davao City, Cebu City, Bacolod, Iloilo City, Makati City, Cagayan de Oro City, Baguio City, General Santos City, Laoag City, Lapu Lapu City, and Butuan City are tagged as “high-risk areas”
Overall, Manila City and Laoag City logged high one-week growth rates with a greater than 30 percent increase in new cases compared to the previous week.
OCTA further said that “very high” reproduction numbers – greater than 1.4 – indicating high infection rates were also observed in Cebu City, Laoag City, Lapu Lapu City, and Mariveles; while very high incidence rates or ADAR – greater than 25 per day per 100,000 – were observed in Laoag City and Mariveles.
In addition to Taguig City, OCTA said Davao City and Iloilo City also registered “very high” ICU utilization at greater than 85 percent.
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