Research group sounds alarm over increasing Metro Manila Covid

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The research group that has been monitoring the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic in the country has sounded the alarm on the increase of virus cases in Metro Manila in the past week.

In a March 5 report, Octa Research said Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila in the past week averaged 900 per day that was 50 percent higher than what was reported from February 19 to 25, and 119 percent higher from two weeks ago.

Octa added the positivity rate for Covid-19 infections in Metro Manila increased to 7 percent over the past seven days, and continues to rise by one percentage point a week. Meanwhile, the reproduction number, or R-naught, is at 1.47.

It said that the surge in Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila might have been from a “new and more contagious and lethal variants that could overwhelm the region if left unabated in the next few weeks,” but added this needs to be confirmed by genome sequencing.

Octa was referring to the Covid-19 variants from the United Kingdom and South Africa that are believed to be more infectious.

Among the localities in Metro Manila, the research group said Quezon City, Pasay City, Manila, and Makati City posted increases in their average daily cases, with Pasay having the highest at 150 new infections per day since the surge in August 2020. Pasay has already imposed a lockdown in at least 55 of its barangays.

However, “marginal” increases in Covid-19 cases were seen in Marikina and Las Pinas.

In other parts of the country, Octa said Cebu City’s Covid cases has dropped for the first time, indicating a reversal of the trend in the area along with Davao City. However, slight increases in Covid-19 cases were reported in Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue.

Baguio City is also experiencing an uptick in new cases and recorded a positivity rate of 22 percent, with Octa warning this could result in a spike in the number of Covid-19 infections in the Cordillera region.

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