DOH, OCTA see uptick in Metro Manila COVID-19 cases

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 20) – The National Capital Region (NCR) has recorded an increase in new COVID-19 cases over the past week, OCTA Research reported on Friday.

The independent research group said the daily average number of new infections in Metro Manila rose to 71 from 59 – or by 19% – during the May 13-19 period, compared to the preceding week.

The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed the recent uptick in infections, but it said its data indicate the increase was just by 17%. DOH explained to CNN Philippines that its records show Metro Manila logged an average of 69 – not 71 – new cases daily the past week.

Meanwhile, OCTA also reported that the region’s reproduction rate – or the number of people infected by a single case – climbed from 0.76 to 0.90, or from “low” to “moderate” classification.

It added that the one-week average daily attack rate – or the number of new cases daily per 100,000 population – slightly rose from 0.42 to 0.50.

NCR’s positivity rate remained at 1.2%, with an average of 11,476 tests conducted daily, while its hospital care utilization rate also didn’t move at 22%.

Overall, OCTA noted that NCR remains at “low risk” for COVID-19.

The health department also pointed out that the two-week growth rate in the region is still negative at -17%.

“Moreover, this slight increase in cases [does] not translate into increases in admissions or utilization rates which remain at low risk ranging 19-23% of total and ICU beds in the capital region,” DOH said.

Based on the latest government data, the country has 2,139 active COVID-19 cases after 195 were added on May 19. This is out of a total of over 3.68 million people infected since the pandemic started.

Over 3.62 million patients have recovered, while 60,452 were confirmed to have been killed by the viral disease.