Metro Manila sees slight uptick in COVID-19 cases, but still at ‘minimal risk’

Metro Manila sees slight uptick in COVID-19 cases, but still at âminimal riskâ
A passenger (C) sits inside a tricycle covered with a reminder to wear a mask, part of the Covid-19 health protocols, in Manila on February 16, 2022.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 2:56 p.m.) — Metro Manila saw a slight increase in COVID-19 cases in the previous week, with infections having risen by 17% to 71 cases, but the Department of Health said Friday the capital region is still at “minimal risk” for the disease.

The DOH said that despite the uptick in cases in Metro Manila, the two-week growth rate remains negative at -17% and there is just an average of 0.47 cases for every 100,000 people, which places the region under the minimal risk classification.

It added that the minimal hike in cases does not translate to increased admissions or intensive care unit utilization rates which it said remained “low risk” as this ranged from 19%-23%.

The DOH made this statement following the release of a new report by private thinktank OCTA Research which said the daily average of new COVID-19 cases in the region increased by 19% on May 13 to May 19 compared to the previous week from just 59 cases to 71.

OCTA said the average number of new cases for every 100,000 people also increased to 0.50 from 0.42, along with the reproduction number, or the measure of how infectious a disease is, which spiked to 0.90 from 0.76 in the past week.

Further, it said that the positivity rate, or the ratio of people testing positive over the total number of tests conducted, remained at 1.2%, which is well below the World Health Organization’s 5% threshold for reopening.

It also said that healthcare utilization rate remained at 22%, but the occupancy of intensive care units slightly increased to 20% from 19% last week.

The Department of Health confirmed Tuesday the local transmission of the BA.2.12.1 Omicron sub-variant in Metro Manila, Puerto Princesa City in Palawan and Western Visayas, prompting fears that the country would see yet another uptick in coronavirus cases.

As this developed, the government rolled out second boosters for senior citizens and healthcare workers to protect them from severe disease caused by COVID-19. — Xave Gregorio




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