MANILA – The increasing number of reported COVID-19 cases cannot be attributed to the relaxation of the face mask mandate, a data analyst said Friday.
ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido said the growth rate of cases was lower after the easing of the face mask rule on September 12, compared to the growth rate a few weeks after the resumption of in-person classes in late August.
"Sa face-to-face classes, nakita talaga natin. Kasi pababa na ‘yung numbers eh, total cases natin sa buong bansa, even sa National Capital Region, pababa, biglang nag-U-turn even the positivity rate," Guido said in an interview on ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
"Pero dito sa optional wearing ng face mask outdoors, so far, sa nakikita natin kasi meron nang momentum eh sa increase doon sa face-to-face classes at ‘yun talaga ‘yung malaking change na nakita natin. Unlike ngayon, actually, even sa national level, ‘yung growth rate, also sa NCR, hindi na siya katulad noong mga nakaraang linggo na talagang mas mataas ‘yung increase."
Guido said the number might actually "stabilize" in the coming weeks.
The daily reported COVID-19 cases in the country are now averaging 2,300; an average of 1,100 are coming from the capital region, according to Guido.
The Department of Health (DOH) earlier announced that 13 out of 17 cities in Metro Manila are now under moderate risk for COVID-19.
"’Yung share ng cases ng NCR, tumataas na naman po; nasa around half. Pero ang good news is, so far, hindi po natin nakikita na nagta-translate ito into higher hospitalization," Guido said.
The region’s healthcare utilization rate is at 35 percent, while the intensive care unit occupancy is at 29 percent, according to Guido.