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Metro COVID-19 cases finally on downward trend

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
Metro COVID-19 cases finally on downward trend
Parents and students fill out enrollment forms during the Balik Aral program for the incoming students of Malanday Elementary School in Marikina City on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. T
The STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines —New COVID cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) are on a downward trend, indicating a possible end to the “weak” surge that lasted for almost two months, according to a member of the OCTA Research group.

OCTA fellow Guido David, however, said Metro Manila is still classified as moderate risk as the level of infections remains high.

Citing data from the Department of Health (DOH), David said the NCR recorded an average of 1,173 COVID cases from Aug. 11 to 17, down nine percent from 1,288 daily cases posted in the previous week.

He said this translates to an average daily attack rate of 8.14 daily new infections per 100,000 people.

Reproduction rate, which indicates the number of people that a COVID-positive person can infect, dropped from 1.18 on Aug. 7 to 1.03 on Aug. 14.

If the downward trend continues, David said they expect less than 500 new COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila by the end of the month or first week of September.

Positivity rate or the number of people testing positive for the virus out of the total tests conducted dropped from 17.1 percent to 15.7 percent, still above the five percent recommended by the World Health Organization.

Hospital bed and intensive care unit utilization remained low at 37 percent and 31 percent, respectively, as of Aug. 16.

Several groups have expressed concern that COVID-19 cases will again rise as face-to-face classes resume on Monday.

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte had ordered the implementation of full in-person classes regardless of risk classification starting Nov. 2.

David earlier said that infections during face-to-face classes are unavoidable, but these would be manageable if proper protocols are in place.

He encouraged schools to take precautions and strictly implement COVID protocols to prevent the spread of the viral disease.

2,892 new COVID cases

The Philippines recorded 2,892 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the active cases to 35,101.

Data from the DOH showed that total nationwide tally reached 3,840,943.

The DOH said the number of active COVID cases dropped to 35,101 on Wednesday from 36,190 cases on Tuesday.

The number of people who recovered from the disease reached 3,744,669 while deaths remained at 61,173.

Metro Manila recorded the most number of COVID-19 cases with 15,141 followed by Calabarzon with 9,450 and Central Luzon with 5,116.

Western Visayas and Central Visayas registered 2,673 and 2,199 cases of COVID-19, respectively.

COVID budget

Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe said yesterday the number of COVID-19 cases would be factored in when lawmakers deliberate on the proposed national budget for 2023.

“The House leadership will take this into account as we begin deliberations on the national budget,” he said.

Dalipe said extending the state of public health emergency is necessary amid the increase in Omicron variant cases.

“We are thankful that President Marcos acted swiftly to extend the state of national health emergency,” he said.

Dalipe pointed out that although COVID-19 cases have declined, the emergence of new variants still requires safety measures to “protect the health of our citizens.”

The P5.3-trillion proposed budget for 2023 is expected to be submitted by the Department of Budget and Management to Congress on Monday. – Rhodina Villanueva, Sheila Crisostomo

COVID-19

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