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DOH opposes OCTA report, says COVID-19 cases in NCR have not peaked yet

The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday opposed the observation of the OCTA Research group, saying the COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region have not reached the peak yet.

“At this point in our analysis, hindi pa po natin nakikita pa na nagpi-peak na po tayo sa ating mga kaso. So pinag-aaralan pa po nating maigi yan,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during the Laging Handa briefing.

(At this point in our analysis, we have not yet observed that the cases have already peaked. We are still studying it.)

Vergeire explained that there should be a downward trend in the number of cases after the peak. However, she said the decrease in number of cases is still inconsistent.

“Kasi ito pong peak, ito na ang pinakamataas na makukuhang numero at pagkatapos noon ay patuloy na bababa,” she said.

(When you say it is already the peak, this is the highest number that you could report. After this, you will see a continuous decline in the number of cases.)

“In one of the dates last week, mayroon po tayong itinala sa NCR na almost 8,000 cases in a day. Pagkatapos po noon e nakita po natin na nagpatuloy siya sa trend na 5,000 [to] 5,500 cases per day at ito pong recent days, 5,800 naman. So tataas bababa, tataas bababa,” the DOH official added.

(In one of the dates last week, we have tallied almost 8,000 cases in a day in NCR. After that, we saw that the trend is inconsistent with 5,000 [to] 5,500 cases per day. Recently, we have recorded 5,800. So the numbers are going up and down.)

Vergeire further disclosed that the number of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila has even increased by 8% in the last seven days.

She also said 94 areas remain are under Alert Level 4, 18 areas are under Alert Level 3, nine areas are under Alert Level 2. No area in the Philippines is under Area Level 1.

Early this week, Health Francisco Duque III said around 92% of the provinces and cities in the country are classified as high risk for COVID-19.

Duque said 111 out of 121 provinces, highly urbanized cities, and independent component cities (91.73%) are still at high risk level.

In a report released Saturday morning, OCTA said cases in Metro Manila “may have already peaked” after it noted the reproduction number of the coronavirus went down to 1.22. The positivity rate in the region also went down to 24%.

Reproduction number refers to the number of people that each case can infect, while the positivity rate is the rate at which people test positive for the virus out of all who have been tested. —KG/MDM, GMA News