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Virus reproduction in NCR eases to 0.99

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The OCTA Research Group on Thursday said the Covid-19 reproduction number in the National Capital Region (NCR) has decreased to 0.99 and continued to show signs of improvement, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

In a television interview, OCTA Research Group Fellow Guido David noted the decrease was from 1.03 reproduction number recorded from Sept. 15 to 21.

“Huling nag-less than one ‘yan nung July pa, nung bago nagka-surge. Sana tuluy-tuloy na ang recovery natin (The last time it [reproduction number] was less than one was last July before the surge. I hope we continue to recover),” David said.

There are five areas that also showed a decrease in reproduction number -- Cavite with 0.87; Laguna, 0.90; Bulacan, 0.86; Cebu City, 0.66; and Davao City, 1.

Reproduction number refers to the number of individuals that one Covid-19 case can infect.

David also said the healthcare utilization in the NCR is likely to improve by the early part of October based on projections.

In a separate televised public briefing Thursday, David reported the NCR’s seven-day new cases average is 20 percent lower than the previous week at 4,674. Last week, the new cases in NCR averaged 5,800.

NCR’s daily average of cases is expected to decrease to 4,000 by end of September, he added.

“By October, baka nasa 2,000 to 3,000 na lang 'yung daily average natin. 'Yan ang mga inaasahan natin (it could be at 2,000 to 3,000 daily average only. That’s what we’re expecting)," he said.

The NCR is currently under Alert Level 4 which allowed some businesses -- including dine-in restaurants -- to resume operations at limited capacity.

Effect of alert level system

During President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s “Talk to the People” on Wednesday night, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. reported that the Covid-19 growth rate in NCR declined from 19.83 percent to 12.38 percent.

“Kung mag-one po ito, Mr. President, magpa-plateau na po tayo. So napakaganda po nito. At ang sabi din ng OCTA ay ang one week growth rate ay -18 percent (If this becomes one Mr. President, we’re going to plateau. So this is really good. And OCTA also said that the one-week growth rate is at -18 percent),” Abalos said.

He noted the decline a week after the pilot of the new alert level system and granular lockdowns in Metro Manila.

“Napakagandang mga numero, Mr. President, sa first week ng pilot (Really great numbers Mr. President, during the first week of the pilot),” Abalos said.

He said the pilot system has also provided relief to some businesses as more of them resumed services under the new quarantine system.

“Sa hanay naman ng negosyo masaya ang mga tao maski kaunting puwang ang binigay eh talagang buhay na buhay po (At the business sector, people are happy despite the small leeway that were given to them, things are becoming lively),” Abalos said.

To date, he said about 69 to 70 percent of the eligible population in NCR are so far fully vaccinated.

“Kung babakunahan po 'yung mga nag-first dose next month, papatak po tayo ng mga 80 to 81 percent ng eligible population ng Metro Manila (If those given their first doses are vaccinated next month, we’re going to reach 80 to 81 percent of the eligible population of Metro Manila),” Abalos said.

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