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Upward trend in COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila as PH tally tops 561,000

The National Capital Region (NCR) is seeing an upward trend in new COVID-19 cases, said the Octa Research Group in its latest report on Sunday, February 21.

Octa said the trend in Metro Manila "has now changed to an upward trend as the region has registered an increase in new COVID-19 cases" in some cities.

The group updated its observation from the day before, on Saturday, February 20, when it said there is a "slight upward trend" in NCR cases, which may be due to the effects of Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day celebrations.

Octa noted on Sunday that the average number of new confirmed cases in Metro Manila went up to 563 per day over the last 3 days (February 18 to 20), a 45% increase versus the 388 daily average over the previous 7 days (February 11 to 17).

"The moving average trend has clearly moved upward," it noted.

Graph of new cases in Metro Manila from Octa Research Group's monitoring report on February 21, 2021.

Octa added that NCR's latest calculated reproduction number, based on data from the Department of Health (DOH), stood at 1.22, compared to just 1.00 two weeks ago. The reproduction number refers to the number of people that one COVID-19 positive case can infect.

In addition, Octa said Metro Manila's positivity rate increased to 5% over the past week, based on an average of 16,000 tests per day. The last time NCR's positivity rate went above 5%, said Octa, was around 3 months ago, or in November 2020.

Octa then reiterated its observation for Pasay City, which saw a 203% increase in daily new cases to 86 over the last 3 days, from just 28 over the previous 7 days. Plus, with a daily attack rate of 19.5 per 100,000 people, Pasay City remains in the "high-risk" classification based on DOH guidelines.

The group then commended Pasay City's swift response to the outbreak in their area "by implementing localized lockdowns in several barangays."

Finally, Octa said the cities of Malabon and Las Piñas had rates of increase over 100% for new cases, but Malabon has a higher daily attack rate per 100,000 people (at 8.55, which puts it also in the high-risk category) than Las Piñas (at 3.24, which falls under the moderate category).

"Nine other LGUs (local government units) had an increase in daily new cases of at least 20% over the same period, while 3 LGUs – Pateros, Navotas, and Muntinlupa – registered a decrease in new cases. The positivity rate in Marikina and Parañaque remained high," continued Octa.

Total cases exceed 561,000

These came after the DOH announced 1,888 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the nationwide tally to 561,169.

It also recorded 20 more fatalities, putting the COVID-19 death toll at 12,088.

Meanwhile, the DOH reported 9,737 new recoveries from the disease, as part of its weekly time-based and symptoms-based strategy of assessing mild and asymptomatic patients. 

The number of total recoveries for the Philippines now stands at 522,843.

As a result, 26,238 cases, or 4.7% of the country's total caseload, remain active. – Rappler.com

Michael Bueza

Michael is a data curator under Rappler's Tech Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.

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