OCTA fellow sees COVID-19 cases falling to 1,000 to 2,000 a day by end-February
MANILA, Philippines — New COVID-19 cases are expected to fall to around 1,000 to 2,000 daily by the end of February after the country saw an average of 35,000 infections a day at the height of the surge driven by the Omicron variant in January.
“The current trends project a decrease to 4,000 to 5,000 cases per day by Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) and 1,000 to 2,000 by end of February,” added David, who urged the public to continue to observe health protocols.
From Feb. 1 to Feb. 5, an average of 8,422 new COVID-19 cases were reported a day, down from 17,025 the week before, or from Jan. 25 to Jan 31.
When the Omicron-driven spread hit last month, new cases peaked to a record average of 34,958 daily from Jan. 11 to Jan. 17, easing to 28,666 from Jan. 18 to Jan. 24.
OCTA Research pointed out that the overall reproduction rate has fallen below 1, which means the transmission of the virus is declining.
A measure of how many persons are infected by someone with COVID-19, the reproduction rate has improved to 0.55 as of Feb. 2 from 0.93 as of Jan. 26.
During the period, hospital bed occupancy also went down from 49 percent to 40 percent, while the positivity rate eased from 34 percent, or 1 out of 3 of those who were tested turned out positive for the virus, to 24 percent, or nearly 1 out of 4 of those tested getting infected with the virus.
On Sunday, the DOH reported 8,361 new cases and 312 additional deaths that were mostly from delayed reporting.
The regions with the most number of new infections were Metro Manila with 863 (13 percent), Davao with 683 (11 percent) and Western Visayas with 657 (10 percent).
Of the 312 latest reported deaths, 77 died in February, 56 in January while the rest died between December last year to as late as August 2020.
The DOH attributed the belated death reports to “late encoding of death information to COVIDKaya,” its case collection system.
Meanwhile, there were still 126,227 active cases, although 96.2 percent were either asymptomatic or mild. There were 310 critical cases, 1,447 severe cases, and 3,008 moderate cases.
While the 21.5-percent positivity rate was the lowest since the start of the year, this translated to 1 out of 5 of the 38,675 individuals tested on Feb. 4 confirmed to be infected with the virus.
Two laboratories did not submit their data.
Two years after reporting the first COVID-19 case, the country’s total confirmed cases have reached 3,609,568 including 54,526 deaths.
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.