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OCTA sees weak COVID-19 surge

The OCTA Research Group said that a weak surge in COVID-19 cases has started as the seven-day average of new infections in the National Capital Region increased to 212 from June 13 to 19 or 84% higher than the previous week.

“Before maliit lang ang one-week growth rate. It was 8%, 2% then it increased to 19%, then 31%, and now 84%. So bumibilis ang infections,” OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said in Lei Alviz’s report on “24 Oras” on Monday.

(Before the one-week growth rate was small. It was 8%, then 2%, then it increased to 19%, then 31%, and now 84%. So infections are increasing.)

According to OCTA, the reproduction number in Metro Manila was at 2 as of June 16, while the average daily attack rate per 100,000 population was 1.5.

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.

“It’s a weak surge. It’s not alarming naman. Hospitalizations are low and we don’t foresee any escalation of Alert Levels at this time,” said David.

The Department of Health on Monday recorded a total of 3,051 new COVID-19 cases from June 13 to June 19, 2022, an 82% higher tally than the cases reported the previous week.

The daily case average for June 13 to June 19 was 436.

This was almost double the 240 cases recorded from June 6 to June 12, with 1,682 new COVID-19 infections.

However, OCTA said that the increase in COVID-19 infections will not match the surge of omicron and delta variants earlier this year.

The group expects the number of new COVID-19 cases nationwide to be 1,000 to 2,000, with 500 to 1,000 of those coming from the NCR in the first week of July.

The Department of Health earlier said that more COVID-19 cases are expected in the coming weeks as the country is now seeing another peak in infections.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they are closely monitoring the NCR where there has been a significant increase in COVID-19 cases which is now at 70%.

Aside from NCR, Vergerie noted that the DOH was monitoring the increase in COVID-19 cases in the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Western Visayas, and Northern Mindanao.

Despite the increase in cases, the health official maintained that the country was not experiencing another COVID-19 “surge.”

Vergeire also attributed the rise in COVID-19 infections to the entry of the more transmissible Omnicron sub-variants such as the BA 2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5; the increased mobility in the country; and the waning immunity of the vaccinated population.

"Let us not call this a surge because we try to avoid using this term from the previous increases in cases because this has caused a lot of confusion among the public,” she said.

Last week, the DOH said that COVID-19 cases in the country could reach 800 up to 1,200 daily by the end of June if the recent series of increases is sustained. — Mel Matthew Doctor/DVM, GMA News