Metro Manila's COVID-19 reproduction number further decreases — OCTA

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 29) — The COVID-19 reproduction number in the National Capital Region — which is now tagged as "moderate risk" — has further gone down to 0.50, according to the OCTA Research.

The rate dropped from 0.63 just two days before, the independent pandemic monitoring group said.

The reproduction number refers to the average number of people a COVID-positive individual can infect. A rate below 1 indicates the virus transmission is slowing down.

OCTA Research fellow Guido David said the 2,256 new cases reported in NCR on Friday were the lowest since Dec. 31, 2021, when daily infections were only beginning to go up.

"The downward trend has slowed in the past four days, but new cases [are] still tracking below Jan. 20 projections," he said.

The seven-day positivity rate also decreased to 21%, David added. But he noted that "it is not yet clear at this time if the slowing of the trend is real or artificial."

"We will have to wait a few more days to see if it returns to its course," David said.

Metro Manila was downgraded to moderate risk on Friday, although health officials pointed out that the number of cases in the region is still above the pre-Omicron level.

David reiterated the public should continue strict compliance with health protocols to "sustain the downward momentum."

Cebu City, meanwhile, may have also reached the peak of the surge, OCTA said, citing the "downward trajectory" of infections.

The group said the city's reproduction number dropped to 2.03 as of Jan. 25 from 3.94 the previous week.

The average daily attack rate (ADAR), however, was still "very high" at 62.27%, and the positivity rate at 39%, it added.

Cebu City also remains under the "very high risk" level.

The country began seeing an uptick in COVID-19 infections on Dec. 29 last year, when it logged close to 900 new cases for the first time in over a month.