COVID-19 growth rate in Metro Manila 'steadily declining' – OCTA fellow

COVID-19 growth rate in Metro Manila 'steadily declining' â OCTA fellow
A health worker attends to patients at the Manila Manila COVID-19 field hospital at Quirino Grandstand on Thursday, January 13, 2022. The National Capital Region (NCR) is experiencing a "severe outbreak" as its COVID-19 average daily attack rate climbs to 111.80, OCTA Research said Thursday.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 1:17 p.m.) — The growth rate of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila is “steadily declining,” a fellow of the private think tank OCTA Research said Saturday, adding that the latest surge in infections appears to be peaking in the capital region.

OCTA Research fellow Guido David said Saturday on Twitter that the daily growth rate in Metro Manila has decreased to 3% from 5% a day before.

David cautioned, however, that the apparent slowing down of new infections “is still subject to data backlog and late reports.”

But he said that if this trend is solid, Metro Manila should expect to see between 16,000 to 18,000 new cases on Saturday, and 15,000 to 16,000 on Sunday, towards a consistent decrease.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Department of Health has also noticed a slowing down of the increase in cases in Metro Manila, but cautioned that infections are still rising.

From January 6 to 12, Metro Manila logged 83,649 cases — the highest ever in a week — according to preliminary data from the Department of Health.

The new wave of infections, suspected to be driven by the highly infectious Omicron variant, started out in Metro Manila and is now beginning to spread outside of the capital region, prompting the government’s pandemic task force to tighten coronavirus curbs in most of the country.

The surge, however, appears to be slowing down in the provinces of Cavite, Rizal and Laguna, David said, but it is accelerating in Batangas and Isabela.

He added that the spike in infections is “maturing” in Laguna, Pampanga and Benguet, while it is still in its early stages but will likely be accelerating soon in Cebu, Pangasinan, Quezon, Iloilo, Camarines Sur, Davao del Sur and Negros Occidental.

David also forecasts a “steep artificial decline” following the government’s policy shift on testing, which prioritizes health workers, senior citizens and people with comorbidities for COVID-19 screening. — Xave Gregorio

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