MANILA, Philippines – The COVID-19 reproduction rate in the National Capital Region (NCR) went down to 0.35 from November 29 to December, Independent Analytics Group OCTA Research said.
OCTA Research fellow Guido David said nearly all indicators in the same period have gone down when compared to the data gathered in the past week.
In a message on Twitter on Monday, Guido also said that the daily attack rate has gone down to 0.79 from November 29 to December 5 from 2.61 recorded in the same period last year.
The positivity rate also went down to 1.1 percent from 3.7 percent, and the hospital bed occupancy from 37 percent to 21 percent.
He, however, noted that the number of ICU beds occupied slightly increased from 322 to 350.
In a media briefing, Guido said the current data should be maintained to keep the country’s very low risk classification for COVID-19.
He is also in favor of keeping the NCR and the rest of the country under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 in view of the threat of the newly discovered Omicron variant.
“If there was no threat of a new variant, pwede naman tayo actually it’s possible to de-escalate because we are at very low risk based on our metrics,” he said.
“We don’t know when this variant might come in the country. At least we are better prepared if we have some restrictions than if we don’t have restrictions,” he added.
Should the new variant enter the Philippines, David said the Philippines may see another surge in COVID-19 cases by 2022.
The OCTA Research fellow noted that based on preliminary studies, the Omicron variant seems more contagious than the Delta variant.
“If it’s twice sa Omicron then we are expecting 1 person with Omicron will infect 10-16 other people,” he said.
“Most likely ang timeline natin around January or February baka magkaroon ng disruption. It may not be a massive surge but it will still affect the number of cases,” he added.
He urged the public to be responsible and continue adhering to public health protocols against COVID-19 especially this holiday season. (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)