MANILA — Research group OCTA on Friday warned that the COVID-19 positivity rate in Metro Manila could reach up to 25 percent and that infections in nearby areas were also rising.
OCTA fellow Guido David said Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna's positivity rate were projected to rise to "more than 20 percent."
"Hindi lang ako gumawa ng projections na 'yan, even other experts foresee that pero ang magandang balita diyan yung healthcare utilization, we do not expect na tataas to critical levels," David said in a public briefing.
(I wasn't the only one who came up with those projections. Even other experts foresee that. But the good news there is the healthcare utilization, we do not expect that it will reach critical levels.)
Metro Manila's 7-day testing positivity rate was at 20.4 percent as of May 3. This was around 6 points higher than the 14 percent tallied on April 26, Guido said on Twitter.
David attributed the uptick in infections to the COVID-19 variants entering the country. The health department late last month detected its first case of omicron subvariant XBB.1.16, which is spreading around the world.
"It is something... normal na lang we can come to expect. Dito, ang dahilan nito mainly, ang tingin natin, yung mga bagong subvariants na nakapasok sa bansa," David said.
"'Yung waning immunity factor din 'yan kung bakit tumataas nanaman ang infections natin. Based sa latest study, ang vaccines natin after 6 months, medyo significant yung binababa ng protection nito against infection," he added.
(It is something normal that we can come to expect. The main reason, we think, are the new subvariants that entered the country. Waning immunity is also a factor behind increasing infections. Based on the latest study, our vaccines' protection against infection decline significantly after 6 months.)
Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire on Thursday said there was no need to panic over the rise in new COVID cases.
The Philippines on Wednesday reported 867 additional coronavirus infections, while the nationwide positivity rate reached 17.1 percent.
Video from PTV