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OCTA: Metro Manila positivity rate trending downward, but wave not yet over

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OCTA: Metro Manila positivity rate trending downward, but wave not yet over
Teachers and parents finalize classroom preparations in Malanday Elementary School in Marikina City, a week before the school year 2022-2023 officially starts on Aug. 22, 2022.
The STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — The volume of positive COVID-19 tests coming out of Metro Manila has been steadily declining since the first week of August, indicating a downward trend, independent pandemic monitor OCTA Research disclosed Tuesday. 

In a tweet advisory that morning, though, OCTA Research fellow Guido David urged sobriety over the still-emerging trends, pointing out that they need to be sustained for a few more weeks until they can conclusively say the peak has arrived. 

To recall, OCTA Research — among the most accurate pandemic forecasters in the time of COVID-19 — earlier pegged the peak, spurred by the arrival of new subvariants, coming within the week of July 16 to 23 based on the data they had at the time. But the think tank later on admitted that per more recent figures, the projection ultimately fell through after cases suddenly started rising again after weeks of decline.

"While cases may have already peaked in the National Capital Region, the trends will need to hold, as trends are still reversible. The risk level in the NCR remains moderate. The wave is not yet over," he said. 

According to OCTA Research, the seven-day positivity rate of 17.3 percent on August 7 is now down to 16.1 percent as of Sunday, August 14. Likewise, the one-week growth rate of cases in the capital region decreased to -7 percent. 

From August 1 to 7, though, the Philippines recorded 27,331 more COVID-19 cases, which meant just a 13% increase from the week prior. 

"The reproduction number in the NCR decreased to 1.13 as of August 12, from 1.19 on August 5. Meanwhile, healthcare utilization was at 37 percent while ICU occupancy for Covid was 32 percent, both as of August 14," David also said in his advisory. 

Positivity rate refers to the percentage of all tests that are coming out positive, while the term growth rate measures the speed of the increase in COVID-19 infections in a given area. 

The World Health Organization recommends the proportion of COVID-19 tests coming back positive should remain below 5% to ensure the spread of the virus is under control.

DOH says over 10k cases still possible

At the same time, the Department of Health also said earlier this week that there was a possibility of over 10,600 daily COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila by October. 

Per data from the DOH, Quezon City logged the most coronavirus cases in Metro Manila with 241 new infections on Monday. Manila, Makati, and Parañaque came after with 148, 117 and 103 new cases in their localities, respectively.

No other city in Metro Manila eclipsed the 100 cases mark for that day. 

"This once again gives us hope that the peak of the wave in the NCR may occur by next week [but with] no guarantees, of course...The trends need to be consistent for about a week before we can confidently say there is a downward trend," David said earlier. 

 Franco Luna 

COVID-19 PANDEMIC

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

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