DoH: Higher positivity rate brings NCR back to moderate-risk classification

(Photo by Analy Labor)

The National Capital Region is back to moderate risk case classification for COVID-19 as its positivity rate is now at 16. 4 percent, the Department of Health said on Friday.

“If we look at it, comparing this to the previous two weeks, we can see that it really increased,” Health Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a media briefing.

“Among the different regions in the country, the NCR entered again moderate risk case classification,” she added.

She made the announcement days after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. allowed the voluntary wearing of masks in outdoor settings, particularly in open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation.

However, Vergeire said the recent increase in COVID-19 cases had nothing to do with the optional wearing of masks in outdoor settings:  “We cannot attribute the increase in cases to the scrapping of mask mandate outdoors; it will take us one to two weeks to analyze its effects. What we can say is the increase is due to mobility since face-to-face classes.”

Vergeire noted that 11 out of 17 local government units in Metro Manila are classified under moderate risk, while six out of 17 regions saw an increase in ward admissions in their hospitals.

She stressed that despite the shift of the region to moderate-risk classification, the healthcare utilization rate remains under low-risk, with only 39 percent of COVID-19 ward beds and 33 percent of intensive care unit beds utilized.

The Health official noted that among 17 LGUs in NCR, only Pasig and Muntinlupa reported an increase in their ICU admissions.

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