The reproduction number of COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region may drop from 1.86 to 1.55 during the March 30 to April 5 period, according to OCTA Research.
In a report released on Tuesday, OCTA Research added that the number may decrease further to 1.18 during the April 6 to April 12 period.
Earlier, OCTA’s Dr. Guido David said the region’s reproduction number was 2.05 prior to the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) over Metro Manila and neighboring areas.
“Significant naman ‘yung decrease and in fact naka-two days pa lang tayo ng ECQ. We’re expecting na bababa ‘yung reproduction number by the end of the week, baka nasa 1.4 na lang siya or 1.3,” he said.
[The decrease is significant and in fact we’ve only been under ECQ for two days. We’re expecting that the reproduction number will go down by the end of the week, maybe to 1.4 or 1.3.]
The reproduction number refers to the number of people that each COVID-19 case can infect.
Guido noted that the decrease in reproduction number does not mean that the actual number of COVID-19 cases is going down. A reproduction number greater than 1 means cases are still increasing.
Professor Ranjit Rye said their projections are conservative but he said they support the need for an extension of mobility restrictions in the NCR Plus bubble, which was composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.
The ECQ over NCR Plus will expire on April 4.
However, the Department of Health (DOH) has recommended a one-week extension of the ECQ.
The DOH’s top epidemiologist earlier said a one-week ECQ would not be enough to sustain a downtrend in COVID-19 infections.
For the fifth straight day on Tuesday, the DOH reported over 9,000 daily new COVID-19 cases.
The total number of cases in the country is already at 741,181 with 124,680 active cases, the highest recorded this year. —KG, GMA News