Metro Manila back to 'moderate risk' for COVID-19 - DOH


Posted at Sep 16 2022 12:35 PM | Updated as of Sep 16 2022 03:51 PM

Commuters line up at the EDSA bus carousel station in Mandaluyong City on Sept. 14, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Commuters line up at the EDSA bus carousel station in Mandaluyong City on Sept. 14, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Metro Manila is now back to "moderate risk" for COVID-19 infection after the region's positivity rate or the percentage of all tests that are positive for coronavirus increased to 16.4 percent, the Department of Health said Friday.

"Makikita rin natin ngayon na among the different regions in the country, ang NCR (National Capital Region) ay pumasok na uli sa moderate risk case classification," said DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire. 

(We can see that among the different regions in the country, NCR has returned to the moderate risk case classification.) 

Eleven out of 17 cities and lone municipality in Metro Manila are classified under moderate risk, she said said in a press briefing.

Moderate risk means an area had a positive 2-week growth rate in the number of COVID-19 cases and average daily attack rate of between 1 to 7. ADAR is the number of new cases over a 2-week period, divided by the population.

But Vergeire noted that the health systems capacity in Metro Manila is still at "low risk" case classification.

"Ang kanilang (their) hospital utilization is just at less than 40 percent. For the wards, it's 39 percent and for ICU it's just 33 percent," she said. 

Six out of 17 areas in the capital region only saw an increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19, Vergeire said.

Only Pasig and Muntinlupa reported higher ICU admissions due to the disease, she added.

Vergeire said the rise in coronavirus infections could not yet be attributed to the relaxing of mask-wearing in outdoor settings.

"As I've said, it would take us around 1-2 weeks for us to be able to analyze the effect of this easing of masking," she said.

"What we can say is tumaas ang mobility mula nung nag-umpisa 'yung face-to-face classes," she added.

(Mobility increased since face-to-face classes started.)

She noted that an uptick of COVID-19 cases was not seen in other regions which also implemented in-person classes.

Early this week, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. issued an executive order scrapping the outdoor mask mandate.

Some health experts have raised concern it would drive infections anew.

"Hindi naman tayo dapat maalarma kasi ang binabantayan nga natin ay iyong hospital bed utilization at saka iyong mga ICUs," research group OCTA's Dr. Guido David said of the uptick in Metro Manila's COVID-19 cases. 

"Sa ngayon ay hindi pa naman siya cause for alarm pero we should be aware na tumataas para we can act accordingly... Personal responsibility is a key, kapag updated and informed iyong mga kababayan natin, they will be able to act accordingly kung ano iyong nakakabuti para sa kanila," he said in a separate public briefing. 

(It's not yet a cause for concern, but we should be aware that it's increasing... If our compatriots are updated and informed, they will be able to act accordingly on what would be best for them.) 

As of Sept. 12, almost 72.8 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against the respiratory disease. 

Of the figure, only 18.6 million have received their first booster dose while some 2.5 million have gotten their second booster shots.

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