Covid surge in NCR will peak in 2 weeks

The increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) and surrounding areas is expected to peak within one to two weeks, independent monitoring group OCTA Research said Monday.

OCTA said the current rise in Covid-19 cases has exceeded projections, with infections topping the 1,000 mark for the fourth day in a row.

The Ministry of Health recorded 7,398 cases from June 27 to July 3, a daily average of 1,057 cases. This figure is higher than the figure from June 20 to June 26.

The NCR or Metro Manila still has the highest number of cases as of July 3 with 663, with 142 cases in Quezon City alone. Cavite, Iloilo, Laguna, Rizal and Cebu have all recorded more than 50 cases.

OCTA researcher Guido David also predicted that the Covid positivity rate in the NCR and Calabarzon, particularly Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, would increase.

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In Metro Manila, the positivity rate rose from 6% on June 25 to 8.3% on July 2. The positivity rate in Laguna and Cavite exceeded 10% during the same period.

An increase in the positivity rate was also recorded in Batangas, Benguet, Iloilo and Pampanga.

David attributed the slight increases to the BA sub-variants of Omicron. 4 and BA. 5.

He said these sub-variants are also responsible for the increase in cases and positivity rate in Western Visayas.

David expects a slight increase in the hospitalization rate in Metro Manila as well as Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon).

“But, so far, it’s been a mini-push like we expected a few weeks ago. It’s not at the same level we had in January or last year. , but we are still watching the numbers closely to see if that will change course,” he said.

Last week, OCTA predicted a slowdown in the increase, but David said the projection has been revised.

“There is still a 50% growth rate, so we will definitely see a further increase in cases this week or maybe by next week and an increase in the positivity rate, but it will not be beyond that. 10%,” he said.

Once the peak of cases is reached in one to two weeks, the numbers will start to drop, he said.

“We could see around 2,000 to 3,000 cases a day nationwide, and then we expect there will be a downward trend. Although there will be a further increase not seen in the projections, we do not think not that it will reach 5,000 cases a day nationwide,” he added.

Once the peak is reached, the alert level will be “permanently reassessed”.

“And then, of course, there are other things to think about like the exit strategy, the exit from the pandemic, if the state of emergency is no longer renewed after September, there will be other discussions on how to move forward with the pandemic,” David said.

Carol N. Valencia