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OCTA: Metro Manila COVID-19 growth rate, reproduction number decreased; other indicators rising

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OCTA: Metro Manila COVID-19 growth rate, reproduction number decreased; other indicators rising
Parents enroll their incoming grade 3 children at Parang Elementary School in Marikina on Monday, August 1, 2022.
The STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — The COVID-19 growth rate and reproduction number both went down over the past week, which independent pandemic monitor OCTA Research Group said could possibly signal that the peak of the ongoing surge in cases could be nearing. 

In a tweet advisory published Wednesday noon, OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said that the reproduction number stands at 1.24 after being 1.33 by end-July while the pathogen is increasing in cases at a 14%  rate — down from 21% growth on July 26. 

Reproduction number refers to the number of people one coronavirus-positive patient can infect, while growth rate measures the speed of the increase in COVID-19 infections in a given area. 

"There is again hope that cases will peak soon. [Healthcare utilization rate] remained low. NCR is still under moderate risk," David said. 

However, the positivity rate — or the percentage of tests coming out positive — rose from 15.5% to 16.9% from July 26 to August 2. 

In that time, the average daily attack rate, the healthcare utilization rate, and ICU occupancy all went up. 

The ADAR, or the average number of new cases per 100,000 individuals, rose from 7.34 to 8.39 in that time span, while HCUR and ICU occupancy rose from 32% to 38%, and 27% to 30% respectively, with both still good for low-risk classification. 

The independent pandemic monitor earlier predicted that the surge's peak would come by end-July based on the data on-hand at the time.

Days after that projection, however, cases were suddenly on the incline again after going down for a number of days in a row.

On Tuesday, the Department of Health reported 2,646 new cases around the country, with 998 of those coming from the National Capital Region — the first time in five days that cases in Metro Manila dipped below the 1,000-mark. 

The Department of Health said earlier that due to the continuous uptrend in cases, COVID-19 infections in the Philippines may reach around 19,000 a day by the end of August.

Franco Luna 

COVID-19 PANDEMIC

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