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OCTA sees slight upward trend in Metro Manila COVID-19 cases

The daily COVID-19 case reports by the Health Department indicated a slight upward trend in the National Capital Region (NCR), the OCTA Research Team said Saturday.

In its February 20 report, the research team said that while the overall trend in the Philippines and NCR was flat, the reproduction number in Metro Manila increased to 1.13 in the past week.

A reproduction number of one or higher is an indication of the continuous transmission of the virus.

According to OCTA, NCR reported an average of 430 new COVID-19 cases daily for the past seven days. This is a 16 percent increase from the previous average of 370 cases per day.

Some local government units even had spikes in COVID-19 cases.

“This increase may be due to the Chinese New Year or Valentine’s day effects. It cannot be ruled out that a SARS-Cov2 variant is involved in the sudden spikes,” it added.

OCTA Research had warned of a surge in COVID-19 cases should authorities ease quarantine measures following the National Economic Development Authority’s proposal to place the Philippines under a modified general community quarantine.

Particularly noteworthy were the number of cases in Pasay City which had nearly doubled, putting it in the high-risk category and leading to a localized lockdown.

Cebu trend slows

Meanwhile, OCTA said that while the upward trend in Cebu had slightly slowed down, the city still reported an average of 192 new cases per day in the past seven days.

“Its reproduction number was 1.54, confirming that the rate of spread of COVID-19 decreased very slightly,” OCTA said.

However, it was noted that the city’s positivity rate remained at 15 percent while its two-week daily attack rate increased to 18.21.

“The upward trends in some LGUs in NCR and Cebu indicate that the pandemic is not yet under control, as the DOH undertakes to conduct more biosurveillance testing in areas of concern,” the researchers reported. — DVM, GMA News