MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) and the OCTA Research Group are in agreement that the National Capital Region (NCR) has reached the peak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.
The two agencies said the number of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila is now expected to go down come February.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said this development is brought about by the consecutive days wherein the 7-day average growth rate in the NCR has been seen to go down.
“Lumalabas nag-peak na at nakikita natin ilang araw nang sunod sunod na bumababa ang kaso ng NCR at lumiliit ang porsyentong iniaambag nito sa ating total case load,” Duque said.
Meanwhile, the latest projection of the OCTA Research Group showed that the growth rate of the virus in Metro Manila has decreased to -50 and the production rate has slowed down to 1.03.
OCTA said they expect the COVID-19 cases in the region to go down in the coming weeks.
OCTA fellow Prof. Guido David said that based on their monitoring, Metro Manila has reached its peak of COVID-19 cases on January 10, wherein the number of positive cases in the region breached the 18,000 mark.
“Simula January 14, masasabi natin na patuloy nang bumababa yung bilang ng kaso hanggang sa ngayon. Kahapon nga 5,000 na lang. So malaki na ang ibinaba from 18,000 down to 5,400. Ang laking improvement,” David said.
“At kaya nga yung projection natin hopefully patuloy na yan hanggang Valentines, baka less than 1,000. Baka end of February baka less than 500 na lang. At mababalik na natin yung kalagayan natin tulad nung nakita natin nung November and December sa buong bansa. Pero sa Metro Manila pa lang yan,” he added.
Based on their study, OCTA said that COVID-19 cases in the NCR will go down to as low as 1,000 by February.
This data, the group said, may be used by the government in determining whether to place the region under a more relaxed alert level restriction.
However, Duque said that this development is not yet a parameter to come up with the decision to ease the alert status in the NCR to Alert Level 2.
This, he said, still calls for the review and consideration by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
“Pero paguusapan pa rin yan mamaya sa IATF or rather on Thursday. Baka kailangan na kailangan ay tingnan na rin kung talagang malinaw na ang health care utilization ay nagkaroon na ng pagbabaklas o decoupling. Kumbaga tumaas ang kaso okay pa yung mga severe critical nasa baba so may decoupling, kung tawagin. Baka pagusapan yan pwede na at mababa to alert level 2,” Duque explained.
He added that based on the DOH monitoring, the hospital bed and ICU utilization in the NCR is now at low risk.
On the other hand, such is not the case in areas outside the NCR.
Duque said, healthcare utilization rate in several areas of the country are now at high to critical risk which the IATF is closely monitoring.
Meanwhile, OCTA Research also reported that decreasing COVID-19 cases are also recorded in the provinces of Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Aileen Cerrudo)