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NCR reproduction number up to 2.19 —OCTA

COVID-19 reproduction number in the National Capital Region (NCR) has increased to 2.19 from the “critical” 1.47 previously reported, according to OCTA Research on Friday.

OCTA fellow Dr. Guido David said the 2.19 reproduction number as of December 27 is the highest reproduction number in NCR since July 2020.

Reproduction rate refers to the number of people infected by one case. A reproduction number that is below 1 indicates that the transmission of the virus is slowing down.

“The reproduction number may be controlled by complying with minimum public health protocols and reducing social and mass gatherings,” David said.

Meanwhile, the number of occupied COVID-19 hospital beds in the region increased from 16% to 20%, while the number of occupied ICU beds increased from 20% to 24%

David said the occupancy rate remains below the threshold level.

At least two COVID-19 referral hospitals in the National Capital Region (NCR) are already feeling the increase in COVID-19 cases in the country amid the holiday season and the threat of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

The NCR has been classified as "moderate risk" for COVID-19.

The NCR and the rest of the country is under Alert Level 2, the second lowest in the new alert level system. Under this level, certain establishments and activities are allowed at 50% capacity indoors for fully vaccinated adults (and minors, even if unvaccinated) and 70% capacity outdoors.

The Philippines recorded 1,623 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, almost double from the 889 recorded the previous day.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has expressed alarm over the recent doubling of daily COVID-19 cases.  —KBK, GMA News