NCR lockdown timely as new COVID-19 cases spike – OCTA Research
MANILA, Philippines — The decision to place the National Capital Region (NCR) under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to 20 was a timely one, as the region logged 2,823 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, with the Delta variant possible driving the surge, OCTA Research said on Sunday.
“The decision by the national government to impose a strict lockdown in the NCR on August 6 is timely,” OCTA Research said in its monitoring report.
“The rapid growth rate of cases in the NCR strongly suggests the possibility that the surge is driven by the Delta variant,” OCTA Research pointed out.
“If the decision was delayed to August 15, the NCR would have breached 4,500 cases per day, which would likely extend the lockdown and cause more negative impact on the people and the economy,” it added.
According to OCTA, the recorded cases on Saturday is the most in a day in Metro Manila since May 2, with the daily average increasing by 62 percent to 2,066 cases a day.
“The steady increase in the reproduction number may be due to the replacement of the Delta variant over the previous dominant variants (Alpha and Beta),” it added.
OCTA also reported that the reproduction rate in Metro Manila increased to 1.80 from the previous week’s 1.56 and the positivity rate from 10 percent to 14 percent.
“The strong upward trend and level of new cases resemble the situation in March 9 to 15, two weeks before the NCR was placed under ECQ,” OCTA Research said.
According to OCTA, latest data from the Department of Health (DOH) also show that the Delta variant identified in its sampled cases increased to 31 percent from 16 percent two weeks ago.
Despite this, intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy rate in NCR hospitals remains at a safe level.
Hospital occupancy is also still at a safe level at 53 percent, but has increased by 94 per day over the past two weeks.
OCTA, however, warned that both levels may rise past 70 percent in two to three weeks.
As of August 7, the Philippines has logged 1,649,341 COVID-19 cases (76,063 active infections, 1,544,443 recoveries and 28,835 deaths).
Metro Manila is currently under the strictest quarantine measure enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to 20 due to the rising cases of the more transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant in the region.
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