The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Metro Manila is again on a downward trend after a “slight reversal” over the past week, independent research group OCTA said on Wednesday, June 9.
“The cases in NCR [National Capital Region] is on a downward trend. We are happy about that kasi the peak of the surge madami talagang cases at puno ang hospitals. Ngayon lumuluwag na ang hospitals, we’re in safe levels, and the positivity rate is improving (during the peak of the surge there were many cases and hospitals were full. The situation in hospitals is becoming more relaxed. We are already at safe levels and the COVID-19 positivity rate is improving),” OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said during the Laging Handa public briefing.
Metro Manila experienced the peak of the COVID-19 surge from late March to early April.
“There was a slight reversal of trends last week pero ngayon we’re back on a downward trend. The reproduction number increased which means na ang pagbaba ng cases bumagal but we’re still now on a downward trend (there was a slight reversal of trends last week but now we’re back on a downward trend. The reproduction number increased which means that the decline in cases has slowed down but we’re still on a downward trend),” David explained.
What caused the slowing down of the downtrend, David said, was the “small uptick” in the number of cases in some parts of Metro Manila “possibly due to superspreader events.”
“Pero na-control naman agad ang mga ito (But the uptick in cases was immediately controlled) because of the local governments’ quick response,” he pointed out.
David, however, noted that it is still early to recommend a new quarantine classification for NCR Plus bubble, composed of Metro Manila, Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan, and Cavite.
The area is expected to remain under general community quarantine or GCQ until June 15.
“That’s a matter for discussion. We will see kasi right now ang bilis mag-change ng trend (trends are changing fast). Last week we were just on an unstable trend and now we are on a downward trend so we will wait a bit for the numbers,” David said.
“This is something we should carefully look at. Maybe we can talk about easing restrictions gradually pa ulit (again), adding more capacities which is what we have done. So far yung nakikita nating transmissions nangyayari sa (the transmissions that we are seeing are in) communities rather than in workplaces or in business establishments,” he added.
Meanwhile, OCTA Research fellow Prof. Ranjit Rye reiterated the vaccination prioritization for the NCR Plus region.
“Sana the government simulan na talaga sa NCR Plus at ubusin na lahat ng kailangan mabakunahan dito and if the government will stick to the plan we will have some good news by September, October as far as containment is concerned (Hopefully the government will really start the vaccination with NCR Plus and consume everything here. If the government will stick to the plan, we will have some good news by September or October as far as containment is concerned),” Rye said.
“If we really work together, government, private sector, individuals, and the communities, we will have a better Christmas, definitely. Christmas 2021 will be very different. It will be a better Christmas than last year,” he added.