Experts studying the coronavirus pandemic in the country said that all 17 cities and municipality in virus epicenter Metro Manila are now classified as “moderate risk” for COVID-19.
In its report released on Thursday, October 14, the Octa Research group said that the reproduction number in the capital region dropped to 0.6. The seven-day average cases also dipped to 1,847, which is 30% lower than the previous week.
Reproduction number or R is the number of people that one COVID-19 positive case can infect. Experts have said that the goal is to keep R below 1 to contain virus transmission.
“The NCR (National Capital Region) and all 17 constituent LGUs were classified as moderate risk using our metrics,” Octa said.
The report comes as the government’s national pandemic task force eased restrictions in the Philippine capital, placing it under Alert Level 3 from October 16 to 31 from Alert Level 4.
The Octa Research Group has been the subject of congressional hearings for what lawmakers described “alarmist” in predicting outbreaks. Historically, government data analysts have been conservative with projections.
On Monday, October 11, the Department of Health (DOH) said that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country was indeed declining and this was validated by the also decreasing hospital admissions. But three regions in the country were still at “high-risk.”