Delta-driven surge in Metro Manila now ‘reversed’ — OCTA

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November 4, 2021 | 4:58pm

A commuter is seen wearing a face shield while riding the LRT Line 2 in Quezon City on November 3, 2021

The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — The National Capital Region has “reversed” its COVID-19 surge attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant, an OCTA Research fellow said Thursday. 

Prof. Guido David’s assessment came as Metro Manila, and the country in general, continue see fewer new infections — a respite after record cases in past months that went as high as 26,000. 

“We are back to where we were before the surge in July,” he told a forum. “The good news is not just in NCR.”

Data presented later by the OCTA member showed the virus’s reproduction rate in the capital region is down from 0.93 in July to 0.43 at present. 

Comparison of NCR cases as of Nov 2, 2021 vs July 15 2021 (before the delta surge). Safe to say, we have already reversed the delta surge. @dzbb @News5PH @DZAR1026 @NewsRmn @dzrhnews @RMMendozaMT @BomboRadyoNews @dwiz882 @manilabulletin @allangatus @PhilstarNews @rapplerdotcom

— Dr. Guido David (@iamguidodavid) November 4, 2021

That figure refers to the number of persons a positive individual can infect. Active cases are also now from 15,947 to just 7,422. 

A fresh uptick in cases was first observed by OCTA in July but the government refused to officially call it a surge. 

Experts said that may have been driven by the Delta variant of COVID-19, which has now reached all 17 regions and remains the most dominant variant in the country.

By end of that month, Metro Manila and some areas returned to hard lockdown that stretched on for months and disrupted livelihood for millions anew. 

“There are still some areas in the country which still have significant number of cases but most of them are already in a downward trend,” David said. 

He cited two factors primarly for the decline in infections: the growing number of the population vaccinated, as well as the continuing observance of health protocols.

Latest figures showed some 28.19 million individuals have completed their COVID-19 shots, while 33.15 million have received a first dose. 

“I think we’re in [for] a good December and holidays,” the OCTA member said.

The government is targeting to vaccinate 77.13 million this year. In October, vaccination for the general public including minors as young as 12 was opened. 

Plans are also underway for administering booster shots and third doses, with the Food and Drug Administration reviewing applications by drugmakers for emergency use. 

But the welcome development should not be a cause for complacency, David warned. 

“It doesn’t mean that [just because] the numbers are good we can start removing face m asks,” he continued.

On Thursday, health officials listed 1,766 new cases. The last time this figure was seen was between late February to early March. 

It pushed the Philippines’ total count of infections to 2,795,642, with deaths now at 43,825. — Christian Deiparine

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