Metro Manila ready for COVID-19 Alert Level 1, says OCTA Research
MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila is ready to be placed under the lowest COVID-19 alert level status in the country as it may only have less than 200 cases a day by the start of March.
This was the observation of pandemic monitor OCTA Research, which fellow Guido David said Thursday that coronavirus cases in Metro Manila continue to decline.
“Of course, we are only a recommendatory body. From our perspective, we are ready because the cases are low, they are continuing to decrease. All our projections came true. We predicted less than 500 in NCR (National Capital Region) by Valentine’s Day and we got 485, and now it’s decreasing,” he said over ABS-CBN News Channel.
“We are projecting maybe less than 200 cases per day in NCR by March 1 and for the whole country, we are seeing maybe less than 1,000 already, so maybe down to triple digits. So based on the numbers, it looks like we are ready. The positivity rate is low, everything is low,” he added.
According to David, Metro Manila’s COVID-19 reproduction number, or the average number of new cases from one patient, is currently at 0.2 while the positivity rate is at 4.4 percent.
He added that COVID-19 cases per day similar to the pre-Omicron December 2021 count may be seen again in the country by the middle of March.
“Ideally we would like to see the numbers decrease even further. Many people wish that we would have December’s numbers, December before the Omicron surge. At that time we were averaging I think less than 500 cases per day in the whole country. So right now we are still at around 1,000 but I think we can get there by March, sometime mid-March,” he said.
For David, the country should take some risks to balance public health and the economy.
Metro Manila’s vaccination rate, said David, may also be enough for an Alert Level 1, but he noted that other regions may still have low vaccination coverage at this point.
On Wednesday, Parañaque City Mayor and Metro Manila Council (MMC) Chairman Edwin Olivarez revealed that Metro Manila mayors have unanimously voted to downgrade the alert level status in the capital region to alert level 1.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque also said Metro Manila may be placed under COVID-19 Alert Level 1 but clarified that it is still subject to deliberations of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The Department of Health on Wednesday reported that Metro Manila currently has 19,965 active cases while the country has 55,449 active cases.
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