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NCR Covid uptick seen

The health department said that while cases in Metro Manila have gone higher, the two-week growth rate has remained negative.



Tusok-tusok Street food vendor finds business to be brisk at the corner of Lacson Avenue and España Boulevard in Manila Friday. That’s until the rains came to dampen sales. | Photograph by jon gamboa for the daily tribune

A 17-percent increase in average daily Covid-19 cases from 13 to 19 May has been recorded in Metro Manila by a private firm doing virus spread measurements parallel with those of the Department of Health (DoH).

From the 59 average daily cases from 6 to 12 May, the region logged 71 cases the following week, although the positivity rate, healthcare, and intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rates have remained stable.

While the reproduction rate increased from 0.76 to 0.90 for the two weeks, Metro Manila’s risk level classification has remained low, according to the group.

An infectious disease expert, Rontgene Solante, said monitoring new cases will be critical in the coming days as significant increases in infections may be recorded.

“Our expectation is that one to two weeks after the superspreader event, there will be an uptick of the cases,” Solante said, although he added that the present cases remained manageable.

The recent campaign rallies attended by thousands are being considered by experts as potential super-spreader events.

“And if this will be that start of the uptick of the cases the more we should be concerned in terms of monitoring the numbers and enhancing our health protocols and preparing for the healthcare setting,” he added.

Still, the DoH said in a statement that while cases in Metro Manila in the recent week are slightly higher compared to the previous seven days, the two-week growth rate has remained negative.
The NCR, the DoH stressed, remained at minimal risk case classification based on the metrics.

“Moreover, this slight increase in cases (does) not translate into increases in admissions or utilization rates which remain at low risk ranging 19-23 percent of total and ICU beds in the capital region,” the department said in a statement.

The DoH earlier confirmed the local transmission of the more transmissible Omicron BA.2.12.1 subvariant.