Experts studying the coronavirus pandemic in the country said Davao City is expected to surpass new COVID-19 infections of Quezon City this week.
In its report on Monday, June 7, Octa Research noted Davao City has a growth rate of 54%, recording 206 new cases on the average from May 31 to June 6 compared to 134 cases from the previous week.
Meanwhile, Quezon City in virus epicenter Metro Manila – which is one of the cities that has been logging high number of new infections – has -22% growth rate. It recorded 219 new cases on the average from the same period compared to 280 cases in the previous week.
Aside from Davao City, the Octa team also flagged other Mindanao cities as “areas of concern,” such as Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Koronadal, and Cotabato City. They also saw increasing trend of cases in Bacolod, Iloilo City, Dumaguete in Visayas and Tuguegarao.
The Department of Health (DOH) in May already flagged the uptick in COVID-19 cases in Visayas and Mindanao. (READ: DOH notes uptick in COVID-19 cases in Visayas, Mindanao)
Metro Manila ‘resumed downward trajectory’
The Octa team noted that the capital region has resumed a “downward trajectory” of new COVID-19 infections after a “week of unstable trends.”
“The reproduction number in the NCR (National Capital Region) from May 31 to June 6 was 0.74, while the one-week growth rate in new cases was negative 11% with a positivity rate of 9%,” the Octa team said.
The reproduction number (R) is the number of people one positive case can infect. Experts have said that an R below 1 means that virus transmission is at a manageable level.
In a press briefing on Monday morning, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Metro Manila now accounts for only 13% of active COVID-19 cases nationwide, while the rest of Luzon accounts for 40%, the Visayas at 20%, and Mindanao at 25%.
Why this matters
If the government fails to control the increasing trend of new infections in Mindanao, specifically Davao, the region would be in a difficult situation as it only has Southern Philippines Medical Center as the main hospital catering to COVID-19 patients.
As of Monday, the Philippines has 1,276,004 confirmed infections of COVID-19, with 1,195,181 recoveries and 21,969 deaths. Of the total cases, 58,854 are active. – Rappler.com