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COVID-19 reproduction rate in NCR down to 1.91 —OCTA

The reproduction number of COVID-19 in the National Capital Region (NCR) has dropped to 1.91 from the previous 1.99 as of Wednesday, according to OCTA Research.

However, OCTA said it is still "too early" to say if the decrease signals the start of the downward trend in reproduction rate in the NCR, which is currently under a general community quarantine (GCQ) bubble along with Laguna, Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal.

"It is too early to tell if this is the beginning of a hoped-for downward trend in the reproduction number, given that the NCR was placed under the GCQ bubble," OCTA said in its report dated March 25.

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

OCTA Research earlier said it is projecting a downtrend in the number of coronavirus cases in the NCR and its adjacent provinces four weeks after the areas were placed in a bubble.

The bubble, which took effect on March 22 amid the surge in COVID-19 cases, will last until April 4, 2021.

The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday reported 6,666 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total tally to 684,311.

According to the DOH, this pushed the number of active cases in the country to another record-high 91,754 for this year.

Of this, 95.3% are mild, 2.5% are asymptomatic, 0.9% are severe, and 0.8 percent are in critical condition.

According to OCTA Research's report, the average number of new COVID-19 cases in the NCR is at 3,804 per day over the past week. This was 61% higher compared to the previous week.

The researchers also noted that the Intensive Care Unit occupancy rate in NCR has already exceeded the critical rate of 70% and the bed occupancy for COVID-19 cases has increased to 61%.

As of Wednesday, OCTA Research said the positivity rate in Metro Manila was 18% over the past seven days. The World Health Organization’s benchmark for positivity rates is 5%.  --KBK, GMA News