MANILA – Finally, the Covid-19 curve for National Capital Region, which is considered Covid-19 epicenter of the country, has already flattened.
So said an expert from the Octa Research Group (ORG) of the University of the Philippines (UP) but at the same time, the expert in UP math professor Guido David issued a stern warning for the government and the public at large from complacency.
“We look at the reproduction number, and in NCR (National Capital Region) it’s less than 1, so it’s about 0.95, I think, the 7-day average, and it’s decreasing. So those are good signs,” David said.
The UP professor also clarified that the flattening of the curve only pertains to Metro Manila (NCR) and not for the entire country.
The ORG also disclosed that virus hot spots or “areas of urgent concern” are areas like Bacolod City, Iloilo City, Iligan City, Davao del Sur, Leyte, and Zamboanga City, where cases were cases are still on the rise.
Their critical care is also above the danger threshold David said.
David added that the reproduction number measures a disease’s “transmission potential” or the number of people one confirmed case can infect. Maintaining the reproduction number below 1 is a positive indicator in containing the pandemic.
He also added that the positivity rate – or the share of tests that come back positive – is decreasing in Metro Manila.
“But we can’t afford to be complacent because it doesn’t mean that we don’t have any more cases. The virus is still here, the pandemic is still here. It just means that the number of cases is decreasing,” David said.
“The lowering of the reproduction number is not irreversible, that is, it could still go up again. We have to sustain this [downward] trend so that we don’t waste the gains we made…during MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) and now under GCQ (general community quarantine),” David added.
“We can’t be complacent yet. We can’t relax…It will take us a while to reduce the number of cases to maybe 500 cases per day.”
The NCR remains under GCQ until September 30, along with Bulacan and Batangas. (Elamai Go)