FILE PHOTO Residents of Imus, Cavite take their swab test as cases of COVID-19 rise in the NCR. Photo by Jay Ganzon / OVP
MANILA, Philippines — The number of new COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila increased by 27 percent in the previous seven days as the trend in the region's reproduction number followed a similar pattern seen in February, OCTA Research said Thursday.
"The average number of new daily COVID-19 cases in the NCR (National Capital Region) increased by 27% to 813 for the period from July 15 to 21, from 638 the previous week," OCTA said in its latest monitoring report.
According to the independent research group, the reproduction number in Metro Manila rose to 1.15 from July 15 to 21, an increase from the 0.91 reproduction number over the past week.
"The trend in the reproduction over the past week shows a similar pattern with the trend from February 12 to 19, when the reproduction number increased from 1.06 to 1.30. That period signified the start of the surge in the NCR," OCTA noted.
Reproduction number is the average number of new COVID-19 cases estimated to stem from a single case.
Meanwhile, positivity rate or the percentage of individuals who test positive among all those tested, was six percent in NCR.
"While it is not clear what is driving this increase in new cases without scientific basis, it is best to be cautious and prepared for a possible surge," said OCTA.
OCTA stressed that the increase in cases is still in its "nascent stage" and can still be mitigated with proactive measures .
These measures may include active contact tracing, localized lockdowns, increase in restrictions particularly for unvaccinated individuals, reduction in capacity in business establishments, reduction in non-essential travel, changes in curfew hours and reduction in mobility of children and adolescents, according to the research group.
"Again, there is still time to reverse the rising trend that we are seeing now in the NCR, but we must be decisive, united and act swiftly," OCTA added.
The country has so far detected 35 cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 that was first reported in India, including the 16 cases that were recently detected by health authorities. Among the recently detected cases, eight tested positive again for COVID-19 despite being initially tagged as recovered by their respective local government units.
The eight positive cases are composed of one in Manila, four in Cagayan de Oro, one in Misamis Oriental and two returning overseas Filipinos. However, the Department of Health said that "most likely," the patients are not that infectious anymore because their viral load is already low.
Professor Guido David, fellow of the OCTA Research, earlier said that the number of new COVID-19 cases in the country may increase to around 8,000 this Thursday, a significant jump from the 6,560 new COVID-19 cases reported on Wednesday.
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