On March 17, the Octa Research Group published their report on the recent COVID-19 spike in Metro Manila. It was found that March 16’s reported 2,231 COVID-19 cases in NCR is 78% higher than last week’s statistics. This current “serious surge” has brought COVID-19 in the country to the same peak level as that from July 2020.
Metro Manila, the country’s COVID-19 epicenter, now has a reproduction rate of 1.96. This value determines the number of individuals a positive case could infect. Octa Research stated that, as we wait for nationwide vaccination, the goal is to keep the reproductive rate below 1. The daily attack rate also showed that an average of 15.9 out of 100,000 individuals has contacted the virus every day. This classifies Metro Manila as a high-risk area.
Beyond Localized Lockdowns
Through the lockdown efforts of their respective LGUs, both Pasay and Navotas have managed to reduce their reproductive rate from 2.4 to 1.8. “While this is still above 1, this gives us confidence that the localized lockdowns work to some extent. Together with reduced mobility, curfews, stricter implementation of health protocols, and city ordinances, this can help reduce the reproduction number in NCR to more manageable levels,” the researchers said.
For this variant-driven surge, localized lockdowns may not be enough. The Octa Research advised that these lockdowns “are more effective in tandem with expanded testing, contact tracing, and supported isolation.” These aggressive control efforts must be closely implemented to better manage the spread of the coronavirus and its variants. Without stricter regulations and responsive measures, the Octa Group projects that our daily cases may reach the unprecedented highs of 10,000 to 11,000 by the end of March.
To combat this surge, the country must improve its detection and isolation efforts to conduct immediate patient treatment and to minimize the virus’ reach. MEDTEK is an official distributor of equipment and devices for antibody, antigen, and PCR testing. For accredited testing organizations and LGUs interested in purchasing these products, please feel free to fill out the form below.