The Department of Health (DOH) said on Saturday, September 18, that at this point, it would be hard to say if COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila have already peaked.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire made the statement in response to the report of OCTA Research fellow Guido David on Saturday that there were early indications that “the surge may have already peaked in the National Capital Region.”
Vergeire said during the government’s Laging Handa briefing on state-run PTV that the increase in COVID-19 cases in recent days had been erratic.
“At this point, in our analysis, hindi pa natin nakikita na nagpi-peak na po ang mga kaso, pinag-aaralan pa po nating maigi ‘yan (At this point, in our analysis, we can’t see yet if the cases have peaked, so we are studying that further),” Vergeire said.
According to David, the reproduction rate has decreased to 1.22 while the positivity rate decreased to 24%.
The reproduction rate is the number of people that one COVID-19 positive case can infect, while the positivity rate is the percentage of all COVID-19 tests performed that are actually positive.
“Due to the backlog, expect that there will be days when cases could still spike. Efforts must be sustained because trends may still reverse, i.e cases may increase again if care is not taken,” said David.
There were 20, 336 new confirmed cases on Friday, September 17. Total active cases as of Friday were 188,108.
Meanwhile, the DOH said in a press statement on Saturday that it “did not disregard the six months shelf life” of RT-PCR test kits procured through the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM).
“The COVID-19 RT-PCR test kits with six months shelf life are not near expiry, as that was the standard shelf life of those novel diagnostic test kits at the time. Additionally, test kits are fast-moving stocks that have to be used immediately since we are in a pandemic. Our COVID-19 laboratories were able to test our kababayan using these procured test kits,” said Charade Mercado-Grande, Undersecretary of the Health Regulation Team.
The DOH issued the statement after senators questioned the PS-DBM over its purchase of P5 billion worth of RT-PCR test kits with a shelf life of only six months. – Rappler.com