MANILA - Metro Manila might be classified as "low risk" for COVID-19 by the end of the month, OCTA Research Group said Sunday.
Virus cases in the capital region has peaked and is tallying a 7-day average of 2,000, according to Guido David.
"Maaaring by end of October, maaaring nasa low risk na ang NCR (National Capital Region), based sa criteria namin," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(Maybe by end of October, NCR could be classified as low risk, based on our criteria.)
"Wala tayong nakikitang variant of concern ngayon na threatening, na pwedeng pumasok sa bansa natin. So ang talagang tingin natin, tuloy-tuloy na 'yan hanggang Pasko."
(We're not seeing any threatening variant of concern that can enter our country. So I think this trend will continue until Christmas.)
Hospital occupancy is also expected to decline as Metro Manila currently has a 0.6 percent COVID-19 reproductive number, or the number of people infected by a single virus patient, and a positivity rate of 13 percent, David said.
The Department of Health had also observed a decline in new infections in the capital region, home to around 13.5 million people and which accounts for about a third of the country's gross domestic product.
"Within this week, baka nasa 4-digit na lang, less than 10,000 na ang (national) average natin. Ngayon kasi, naglalaro pa sa 11,000 ang 7-day average natin sa buong bansa," Guido said.
(Within this week, we might tally 4-digits in terms of new COVID-19 cases, less than 10,000 cases on average. Right now, our 7-day nationwide average is still in the 11,000 range.)
The Philippines last week recorded daily virus cases less than 10,000 for two straight days.
The decline in cases might be due to herd immunity, Guido said. At least half of the capital region's eligible population have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, officials earlier said.
The country also abides by its mask policy, unlike other nations which no longer requires this after inoculation, Guido added.
Amid a downward trend in Metro Manila, the DOH said it observed an increase in COVID-19 cases in the Bicol Region, Mimaropa and Zamboanga Peninsula.
Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region and Ilocos Region also remained at high-risk case classification, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said last Friday.
Lawmakers have criticized OCTA Research for the accuracy of its COVID-19 projections. The group said it uses data from the DOH.