Metro Manila ICU occupancy still high, COVID-19 case trend 'stable' – Octa

The Octa Research group reported on Saturday, May 8, that the COVID-19 case trend in Metro Manila is now "stable" as the average number of new daily cases decreased 58% from the peak of the surge, which was from March 29 to April 4.

The team of experts studying the pandemic situation in the country reported a downward trajectory of cases in the capital region.

Virus epicenter Metro Manila is expected to average less than 2,000 new cases per day by May 14, Octa wrote in its report. The reproduction number in the region decreased to 0.69, a positive indication that means one confirmed case infects less than one other person.

Healthcare capacities also began to ease in the capital region, with hospital bed capacity decreasing to 51% and intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy decreasing to just below the 70% critical level, at 69%.

ICU utilization remained high, however, with 846 ICUs still occupied in Metro Manila.

Metro Manila, along with other provinces in the "NCR Plus" bubble, is under modified enhanced community quarantine, the second strictest form of lockdown.

'Areas of concern' outside Metro Manila

The case trend in Laguna, one of the provinces in "NCR Plus, was described as "not yet stable." Laguna only has a -1% growth rate compared to other areas in the bubble – Metro Manila at -27%, Rizal at -23%, Cavite at -11%, and Bulacan at -29%.

Outside the Greater Manila Area, Octa flagged Cagayan de Oro, Puerto Princesa, and Bacolod as "areas of concern" due to the spike in COVID-9 cases in these areas.

Hospital beds and ICU capacity also remained high in a number of areas, including Tuguegarao, Antipolo, Zamboanga City, and Calamba. 

On Saturday, the Philippines reported 6,979 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 1,094,849. Of these cases, 63,376 are active.

The health department also announced 170 new deaths due to the virus, increasing the death toll to 18,269. The country surpassed one million recoveries on Friday, May 7. More than 10,000 more recoveries were logged on Saturday. –

Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a researcher-writer at Rappler. Possessing the heart and soul of a feminist, she is working on specializing in women's issues in Newsbreak, Rappler's investigative arm.