CDO, Puerto Princesa, Bacolod seen as COVID-19 'areas of concern' — OCTA

Members of the Manila Police District Station 5 round up more than 100 individuals at the Ferguson basketball court in Ermita, Manila on May 6, 2021 for violating the curfew and health protocols.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — The OCTA Research has said that three cities outside the 'NCR Plus' bubble have emerged as areas of concern following a rise in new COVID-19 infections.

In its May 8 report, experts said these are: Cagayan de Oro in Misamis Oriental, Puerto Princesa in Palawan and Bacolod in Negros Occidental.

CDO saw a 75% increase in additional cases from May 1 to 7, with its daily attack rate at 8.34. The latter refers to the number of new cases per 100,000 population. 

Hospital occupancy there, meanwhile, is at 61% while 63% of its ICU beds are taken.

In Puerto Princesa, OCTA said its daily cases were up by 78%, and its attack rate at 38.17. Hospitals are also 62% occupied and ICU beds at 55%.

Bacolod, meanwhile, had an increase of 19%, a daily attack rate of 13.38 with hospital occupancy at 50% and ICU at 49%.

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These three cities are currently under modified general community quarantine, per the government's classification this May.

In NCR, a continuing decline in cases

OCTA said the capital region saw an average of 2,347 daily infections last week. This, it said, is "58% lower compared to the peak of the surge" from March 29 to April 4.

"The moving average (blue) and trend lines (red) show a continued downward trajectory for new COVID-19 cases in the NCR," experts said. "The number of new cases in the NCR is the same level as March 11 to 17, 2021."

Metro Manila also had a -27% growth rate from the previous week. The panel said this was the third consecutive week of seeing more than 20% decrease in cases. 

By May 14, OCTA said the region is seen to average less than 2,000 daily cases a day. It added that NCR's reproduction rate decreased to 0.69, and its positivity rate at 15%.

"Hospital bed occupancy in the NCR for COVID-19 decreased to 51% while ICU occupancy decreased below the 70% critical level, down to 69%," OCTA added. "However, ICU utilization for COVID-19 remained high, with 846 ICUs in the NCR occupied."

Metro Manila, together with Cavite, Rizal, Laguna and Bulacan were retained under modified enhanced community quarantine until May 14. 

Government is expected to announce this week if the bubble will stay in the said quarantine status until end of the month.

'NCR Plus' has been in stricter lockdown since March 29, as authorities wrestle with a surge in COVID-19 cases. — Christian Deiparine

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