NCR COVID-19 cases

FILE PHOTO: An area on granular lockdown in Metro Manila in an effort to stop the spread of the more contagious variants of the new coronavirus. INQUIRER/NINO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — The COVID-19 reproduction number in the National Capital Region (NCR) is now down to 0.9 — which is the same level as in December 23, 2021, or before the latest surge started.

According to a graph shared by OCTA Research fellow Guido David on Monday, the pandemic trend based on January 21’s numbers showed a steep decline, considering that the effective reproduction numbers or Rt reached six in early January.

“The reproduction number in the NCR decreased to 0.9 (as of January 21), or less than 1 for the first time since December 23, 2021.  The reproduction number was as high as 6 on January 2.  The reproduction number decreasing below 1 is correlated with a decrease in active cases rather than a decrease in new cases,” David said in his tweet.

However, David noted that the lower reproduction number should not be taken as a sign to relax health protocols, as this may either slow down the decrease or drive the numbers higher again.

“While this is good news and confirms a downward trend not just in new cases but also in active cases, we have to continue follow health protocols to prevent a reversal of the trend,” he said.

Earlier, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III urged local government units outside the National Capital Region to maintain their strategies against COVID-19, as other regions are still on a high risk, particularly those in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Based on DOH’s epidemic curve, the National Capital Region (NCR) and the other NCR Plus areas are seeing a sharp decrease in infections, while cases for the rest of Luzon are plateauing.  In contrast, the curve for the Visayas and Mindanao, showed a trend of soaring COVID-19 cases.

Since the start of January, COVID-19 cases have shown an exponential uptrend, which experts and health authorities have attributed to the more transmissible Omicron variant.

However, active COVID-19 infections have started to drop from a record 291,000, as DOH said on Monday that the country has 262,997 active COVID-19 cases.

The slightly lower active case count came as only 24,938 new cases were recorded, compared to the 35,461 patients who recovered.

READ: PH logs 24,938 new COVID-19 cases; active cases now at 262,997


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TAGS: COVID-19, COVID-19 surge, Department of Health, DoH, National Capital Region, OCTA Research, Omicron variant, Philippine news updates, Professor Guido David, Regions, reporduction number, Secretary Francisco Duque III
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