Delta variant possible driver of COVID-19 surge in Metro Manila – OCTA

By CNN Philippines Staff

The more transmissible Delta variant could be the possible reason for the current surge in COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila, the OCTA Research said Sunday.

In its latest report, the group noted that 2,823 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the National Capital Region (NCR) last Aug. 7. This was the highest single-day record since May 2, when 2,927 cases were reported in the region.

The OCTA report added that reproduction number in Metro Manila increased to 1.80 from 1.56 the preceding week. This number refers to the number of people that catch the coronavirus from one infected person.

The positivity rate in the capital region, which represents the proportion of people found positive for Covid out of those tested, has also increased to 14% from 10% a week ago.

“The rapid growth rate of cases in the NCR strongly suggests the possibility that the surge is driven by the Delta variant, and the steady increase in the reproduction number may be due to the replacement of the Delta variant over the previous dominant variants,” said OCTA.

The Delta variant has been detected by the Department of Health in all Metro Manila cities.

Citing the latest bio surveillance data conducted by the DOH, OCTA said that the percentage of Delta variant rose to 31% from 16% two weeks ago.

Intensive care unit occupancy in Metro Manila is still “safe” at 59%, the OCTA said. However, it noted that the occupancy has increased by an average of 11 per day over the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, hospital occupancy in the capital region is also “safe” at 53%, OCTA said, but added that the occupancy has increased by 94% per day in the past two weeks.

“With the current trends, ICU occupancy will be above 70% in two weeks while COVID-19 hospital bed occupancy will be above 70% in three weeks,” the OCTA warned.

Moreover, OCTA commended the national government for its decision to place Metro Manila under enhanced community quarantine, the strictest lockdown status, from Aug. 6 to 20.

“If the decision was delayed to August 15, the NCR would have breached 4,500 new cases per day, which would likely extend the lockdown and cause ore negative impact on people and the economy,” said OCTA.

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