The Department of Health and a group of experts have already felt the impact of the imposed strict lockdown in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces.
Based on data alone, the DOH and OCTA Research Group agree that the number of illnesses in the National Capital Region (NCR) has actually dropped.
In early April, when the highest number of cases was recorded, the NCR’s average daily attack rate was 34 new positives per 100,000 population.
But from April 18 to May 1, it was seen to drop to 25 new positives per 100,000 population.
According to the DOH, the number is still high at 25.
“While this is an improvement, this is still beyond the 7 per 100,000 threshold that we have set for high risk classification,” said Health Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.
“Nais po nating bigyang diin na hindi pa hudyat o signal ito na maari na tayong maging pabaya sa pagsunod sa ating public health standards,” Vergeire added.
According to a report by the OCTA Research Group, the reproduction number of NCR has dropped to 0.83, and from more than 5,500 daily average cases in early April, it is only 3,144 in the past 7 days.
COVID-19 infection in NCR slightly decreased, but still high
Despite the improvement in the data, “NCR Plus” will not just relax the general community quarantine (GCQ).
“We have parameters. ‘Pag sinabi, health care system capacity, kailangan low risk para tayo ay GCQ. Ang health care utilization, dapat nasa less than 50 percent para masabing we have low risk,” said Vergeire.
“When we talk about mga kaso, dapat ang average daily attack rate ay 7 or less para masabi nating low risk tayo. At dapat ang 2-week growth rate, dapat makita natin mayroon tayong negative growth,” she added.
So far, other facilities in NCR, other than ward beds, the utilization rate remains high at 50 percent. The daily attack rate is also high at 7.
Although the case fatality rate remains below 2 percent, Vergeire admitted that the number of deaths in April was high due to the number of people infected with the virus.
As of Monday, the DOH recorded 7,255 new COVID-19 cases for a total of 1,062,225, of which 69,466 were active cases or still ill.