The seven-day COVID-19 positivity rate in Metro Manila may hit 25% but the capital region’s healthcare utilization rate (HCUR) will remain at low levels, independent monitoring group OCTA Research said Friday.
OCTA fellow Guido David made the remarks a day after the group reported the positivity rate — or the percentage of people who were found positive for the coronavirus among the total number of individuals tested — reached 20.4% as of May 3.
David said the last time it was above 20% was on Jan 29, 2022, during the Omicron BA.2 surge.
“We’re expecting na tataas pa ang positivity rate baka umabot siya ng up to 25%. Di lang ako ang gumawa ng projections na ‘yan. Even other experts foresee that,” he said in a public briefing.
(We’re expecting that the positivity rate may increase and even reach 25%. This is not based on my projections only, other experts also foresee that.)
“Pero ang magandang balita, ‘yung healthcare utilization, we don’t expect na tataas to critical level. In fact, currently nasa 25% ang healthcare utilization sa Manila and we don’t expect na aabot ‘yan ng 40% for example. And it will be safe at low levels naman,” he added.
(The good news is, we don’t expect the healthcare utilization rate to reach critical levels. In fact, we’re currently at 25% but we don’t expect it to increase to, for example, 40%. It will be safe at low levels.)
The Department of Health defines HCUR as the aggregate of the utilization of intensive care units, isolation beds, and mechanical ventilators.
Increases in the positivity rate were likewise monitored in nearby provinces of the capital region including Central Luzon and CALABARZON.
“Mostly areas nearby around Metro Manila like Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna. Nakakakita tayo ng (We are seeing) more than 20% positivity rate. Ganun din sa (Similar to) Camarines Sur and some other areas,” he said.
Asked for the possible reason for the increase, David said this may be due to the COVID-19 sub variants and the public’s waning immunity against the dreaded virus.
“Ang dahilan nito mainly yung bagong subvariants na nakapasok sa bansa although wala pa tayong data sa genome sequencing….’Yung waning immunity din ‘yun kaya tumataas ang infections natin,” he added.
(The reasons for this may be due to the new sub variants and the waning immunity from infections.)
The Philippines posted 1,190 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, as the active tally rose to 8,371.
The National Capital Region logged the highest number of new COVID cases in the last 14 days with 4,172. It was followed by Calabarzon with 2,038, Central Luzon with 583, Western Visayas with 505, and Davao Region with 374.
For his part, David reminded the public to remain vigilant against the virus and to continue adhering to the minimum public health standard such as mask-wearing and physical distancing.–LDF, GMA Integrated News