Six areas with high virus cases identified
The Department of Health (DoH) identifies six areas with biggest number of new infections, according to a report by Manila Times.
Rizal province led the list with 83 new cases, followed by Cavite, Manila, Baguio City and Iloilo City.
The DoH said 911 individuals have recovered from the virus, for a total of 311,506 recoveries, while 60 people have died, bringing the death toll to 6,747.
In its October 20 report, the Octa Research Team led by the University of the Philippines said the country still enjoys a reproductive number, or r-naught, of 0.8, while the National Capital Region or Metro Manila has a reproductive number of 0.7.
A lower reproductive number indicates that an infected person will possibly contaminate fewer than one person in a community.
Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Bulacan and Iloilo all experienced significant declines in Covid-19 cases. Metro Manila had 810 new cases per day from October 12 to 18, compared to 818 new cases per day from October 5 to 11.
But according to UP Professor Guido David of Octa Research Team, the rate of decline in the capital has not been as fast as that in September.
“Worried kami na baka mag-karoon ng uptick dahil mabagal na ‘yung pag decrease nya (We are worried that there could be an uptick because the decrease was slower),” David told The Manila Times in a phone interview.
David said the easing of restrictions, including the reduction of physical distancing in public transportation and increased capacity in mass gatherings such as churches, could trigger a further spike in infections.
“There is a high risk or a high probability na baka magkaroon ng (that there could be) increased transmission. We will start to see if may effect itong (there is an effect in the) increased mobility and reduced social distancing in one to two weeks,” he said.
In Metro Manila, the number of new cases continues to decline, but Pasig, Makati, Pasay, Mandaluyong, Marikina and Valenzuela continue to be high-risk areas because of a high caseload and attack rate per 1,000 population.
Makati, Mandaluyong and Muntinlupa have an above 70-percent hospital occupancy rate, with Makati having the highest at 79 percent.
Region 4A, or Calabarzon, is not faring any better. Calamba City; Lucena City; Sto. Tomas, and Batangas City in Batangas; Taytay and Cainta in Rizal; and General Trias in Cavite were tagged as high-risk areas.
Lucena and Batangas City both have 95-percent hospital occupancy, prompting Octa to advise the local officials in both cities to take special attention.
Octa also advised local government units in Baguio City, Iloilo City and Butuan City to intensify testing, treatment and isolation efforts after their hospital capacities exceeded or are close to 70 percent.
It added that the high-risk cities “may experience an overwhelming of their health care systems and their medical front-liners in the coming weeks.”
David said the suspension of the Philippine Red Cross in testing overseas Filipino workers might also jack up the case numbers since the organization’s laboratories contribute a lot to the country’s overall testing efforts.
He said the Red Cross tests 38 percent of samples in Metro Manila alone.
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