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Pandemic status in NCR ‘comparable’ to LA, New York — OCTA Research

/ 03:18 PM November 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The COVID-19 pandemic status in Metro Manila is “comparable” to that of Los Angeles and New York City in the United States, according to an independent research fellow of analytics group OCTA Research.

Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, a molecular biologist, made the remark as he compared the population, vaccination rate, positivity rate, new daily COVID-19 cases, and hospitalization rate in the three areas.

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“The pandemic status of Metro Manila is comparable to that of metro New York and metro Los Angeles—two other very large cities—and the question now arises about considering increasing the mobility of our Filipino citizens and relaxing pandemic health practices to make them more comparable to these two American cities,” Austriaco said in an online media forum.

Austriaco, who is currently in the United States, said that the sufficiently high vaccination rate in some states and bed capacity has allowed the reopening of more activities in the US.

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“The majority of breakthrough infections are mild and can be treated with emerging novel COVID-19 therapies. We still wear masks inside but we are learning how to live with the virus,” he said. “This is the post-pandemic normal. This is our exit strategy.”

According to figures he presented during the forum, Metro Manila’s population is currently at 14 million, while the population in Los Angeles is at 10 million and in New York City is at 8.4 million.

Austriaco noted that 89 percent of adult Filipinos are already fully vaccinated in Metro Manila, compared to the 80 percent in New York City. In Los Angeles, 72 percent of the population, including minors, are already fully vaccinated.

The positivity rate, or the percentage of positive tests among the total tests, is three percent in Metro Manila, 1.08 percent in Los Angeles, and 1.5 percent in New York City.

The new COVID-19 cases reported on November 8 or 9 were 307 in Metro Manila, 1,174 in Los Angeles, and 848 in New York City, according to the OCTA fellow.

Meanwhile, there are approximately 2,827 hospitalizations in Metro Manila, 630 in Los Angeles, and 674 in New York. Austriaco, however, noted that the hospitalization rate in the Philippines’ capital region is already going down.

However, the restriction on the movement of people differs between the three areas. Austriaco noted that under Alert Level 2 in Metro Manila, a 50-percent indoor dining capacity is allowed for fully vaccinated persons, but in the two American cities, full indoor capacity is already allowed for vaccinated individuals.

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He added that both two foreign cities also don’t require quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers but instead require a preflight COVID-19 test within 72 hours. In the Philippines, only travelers from green-listed nations are allowed to enter the country without going through facility-based quarantine.

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