The growth rate of COVID-19, which measures the speed of its spread, has further slowed in Metro Manila, the OCTA Research group said on Monday.
The coronavirus daily growth rate dipped further to negative 1 percent from 2 percent over the weekend. This figure was at 15 percent last week, said OCTA fellow Guido David.
He added that the region's COVID-19 reproduction number has gone down to 2.67 from around 6, which means an infected person transmits the virus to less than 3 people.
“May optimism tayo na baka nga pababa na iyong bilang ng kaso sa Metro Manila at ito’y ayon doon sa nakita nating trend sa South Africa na mga 2 linggo pataas at nagsimula nang bumaba,” David said in a televised public briefing.
(We have optimism that perhaps cases in Metro Manila are going down, and that was the trend in South Africa where cases increased fo 2 weeks before they started declining.)
“Pero again, ayaw nating maging complacent tayo, maging kampante, ayaw nating mag-celebrate tayo nang premature. Gusto natin masdan natin mabuti ang trends at siguro next week, makikita natin kung talagang pababa na iyong bilang dito sa NCR,” he continued.
(But again, we do not want to be complacent, we don’t want to celebrate prematurely. We want to look at the trends closely, and maybe next week, we will see if figures are really declining here in NCR.)
Asked when cases could peak, David said, “Iba-iba iyong mga modelo na tinitingnan namin. Depende sa assumptions, possible naman na baka end of January pa.”
(We are looking at various models. Depending on assumptions, it might be the end of January.)
He also noted that cases are going up in some areas, like Tacloban, Cebu, Pangasinan, La Union, Benguet, parts of Bicol and Central Luzon, portions of western and central Visayas, Zamboanga City, Davao Del Sur, and other parts of Mindanao.
“Actually all over the country now, we are starting to see an increase in cases kaya makaka-affect ito doon sa sinasabi nating peak kung ang pinag-uusapan ay iyong peak ng buong bansa,” said David, a mathematics professor at the University of the Philippines.
(This will affect the so-called peak if we are talking about the whole country.)
“Pero possible na sa NCR saka sa Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan, ay baka malapit na iyong peak o nagpi-peak na tayo,” he added.
(But it’s possible that in NCR and in Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan, we are nearing the peak or already peaking.)
David urged those residing in provinces to get vaccinated.
“Malaking tulong itong bakuna kaya mababa na iyong nakikita nating severe at critical cases dito sa NCR,” he reasoned.
(The vaccine was a big help in reducing the severe and critical cases we are seeing here in NCR.)
The Philippines last week topped 3 million COVID-19 cases. Authorities have extended restrictions in Metro Manila and other areas to curb the uptick in infections.