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Ex-IATF adviser cites decrease in COVID-19 cases but warns vs. MGCQ in NCR

A former adviser to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Monday  cited the downward trend in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country but said easing Metro Manila to a modified general community quarantine might lead to a surge.

Interviewed on “Balitanghali,” Dr. Tony Leachon said Metro Manila must remain under general community quarantine.

“Though alam natin na bumababa na ang cases from August 12 hanggang September 23, from 4,300 to 2,900 ayon sa UP OCTA research group. At ang reproductive number… .82 so mababa ‘yon so ang NCR naman ang cases bumaba from 2,006 to 1,002… ‘yong reproductive number natin ay bumaba to .74 for NCR so iisipin mo baka puwede na,” he said.

“Pero kung titingnan mo ang ibang metriko of success, ‘yong positivity rate natin dati ay 15% noong August, ngayon 10%. Malayo pa siya doon sa ideal rate or benchmark ng World Health Organization na 5%,” he added.

Leachon said this means that there is still local transmission in the capital region.

Moreover, he said easing quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila might cost the “gains of the last eight months.”

“This can create a surges in the next two months kasi dapat ang kino-consider natin na sustainable mga dalawang buwan na trying to flatten the curve,” Leachon said.

Meanwhile, he said the COVID-19 hospital occupancy rate in NCR is still near the danger zone.

“Ang danger zone ang definition ng Department of Health ay 70% below. Ang occupancy for all COVID-19 cases ay 57%. Ang ICU beds natin for COVID ay 65%,” he said.

Nationwide, cases of COVID-19 ballooned to 304,226 on Sunday with 252,510 recoveries and 5,344 fatalities. -NB, GMA News