OCTA: COVID-19 growth rate in cities outside NCR Plus ‘accelerating’

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 19)— The coronavirus growth rates in Metro Manila and nearby provinces have slowed down, but the numbers are “still accelerating” in several cities in the rest of the country, the OCTA Research Group said on Wednesday.

“While growth rates have slowed in NCR Plus, they are still accelerating in many HUCs (highly urbanized cities) outside NCR Plus,” OCTA Research fellow Guido David wrote in a social media post.

NCR Plus includes the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

For the Jan. 12 to 18 period, David said the growth rate in Metro Manila was at 10%. The reproduction number in the region — a metric used to describe the virus’ contagiousness — stood at 2.07.

Other cities including Tacloban, Cebu, Davao, Baguio, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga meanwhile logged growth rates higher than 100%, according to OCTA.

Despite the observed downward trends in Metro Manila, David still urged residents to remain vigilant and continue to follow health protocols, with the country still categorized as critical risk for COVID-19.

READ: Duque: Spread of COVID-19 slowing down, but PH still at critical risk

COVID-19 cases nationwide jumped to 3,293,635 after the Department of Health listed 22,958 fresh infections on Wednesday.