OCTA notes COVID-19 cases drop in NCR, infections rise in Zamboanga, Naga cities

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 17) – The COVID-19 situation in Metro Manila continues to improve, but the cities of Zamboanga and Naga are experiencing a rise in infections, the OCTA Research group said on Sunday.

According to OCTA fellow Dr. Guido David, the virus reproduction rate in the National Capital Region is now at 0.58. Health experts previously explained that a reproduction rate of less than one could mean the transmission is slowing down.

The seven-day average of COVID-19 cases in the region is 1,681, while the positivity rate is at 10%, Dr. David added.

"This is a very good reproduction number, positivity rate has improved and considered moderate but the target is still 5%," he said.

The average daily attack rate, on the other hand, is 11.87. It is defined as the number of infected people per 100,000 population.

Dr. David said that while the ADAR is still considered high risk, the number may likely decline to moderate "by next week."

An area is considered high risk for COVID-19 if its ADAR exceeds seven, according to the Department of Health, adding that the higher the attack rate in an area, the higher a person's risk of getting the infectious disease there.

Meanwhile, OCTA reported that Zamboanga City recorded its highest number of COVID-19 cases from Oct. 10 to 16 with 221 infections, as it placed the southern city at “critical risk” for the disease.

The southern city also continues to have a "critical" healthcare utilization rate at 87% and a "high" intensive care unit occupancy rate at 73%.

In the Bicol region, Naga City tallied a 61% one-week growth rate in its COVID-19 infections with 61 recorded cases in the past week.

Both cities registered a reproduction number of 1.28, which falls under the "critical" level. A reproduction number refers to the average number of infections passed by each infected person.

La Trinidad, Benguet also fell under "critical" level in its ADAR at 45.71%, healthcare utilization rate at 94%, intensive care unit occupancy rate at 100%, and testing rate at 38%. The town logged 64 cases last week.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Carolyn Bonquin contributed to this report.