NCR now ‘very low risk’

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
NCR now âvery low riskâ
Individuals line up for Astrazeneca vaccine at Batasan National Highschool in Brgy. Batasan Hills in Quezon City during the last day of the government's three-day vaccine campaign on Dec. 11, 2021.
The STAR / Michael Varcas, file

MANILA, Philippines — The OCTA Research Group yesterday said the National Capital Region (NCR) may now be considered as “very low risk” following the continuing improvement of various COVID-19 indicators, including the number of new cases.

Citing data from the Department of Health, OCTA fellow Guido David said the region recorded an average of only 138 new cases daily from Nov. 26 to Dec. 2, lower than the 416 new daily cases recorded during the same period last year.

This translates to an attack rate of 0.97 new cases per day per 100,000 population, compared to 2.94 last year.

The reproduction rate, which measures the number of individuals a positive person can infect, is at a “very low” 0.36 compared to 0.94 last year, while positivity result is also at a “very low” 1.2 percent of total tests conducted compared to 3.9 percent last year.

Healthcare utilization has also dropped to “very low” levels, the OCTA report said.

David said the NCR may “very well move to Alert Level 1,” although he recognized that the threat posed by the Omicron variant justifies the recent decision of the government to retain the Alert Level 2 until Dec. 15.

OCTA fellow Ranjit Rye said during a virtual forum organized by the Cardinal Santos Medical Center that while Omicron is a variant of concern, this should not be a cause for panic.

The outlook for December, he said, is “positive and optimistic” as he noted that the country recorded an average of only 511 daily new cases from Nov. 26 to Dec. 2, compared to the 1,635 cases during the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Marikina City shut all its vaccination sites ?yesterday after it ran out of COVID-19 vaccines.

Mayor Marcelino Teodoro explained they had to close the vaccination centers as?the national government has yet to replenish the city’s supply of vaccines.

Despite this, Teodoro stressed that the city has already achieved herd immunity as at least 435,000 residents and workers are already fully?vaccinated – a figure that is way above the estimated 342,000 needed for herd immunity. – Emmanuel Tupas

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