QUEZON City Mayor Joy Belmonte has observed a decrease in the daily new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases for the fourth straight week.
She cited a recent report from the OCTA Research of the University of the Philippines that for the fourth consecutive week, the number of daily new COVID-19 cases has significantly dropped.
The number of daily new cases based on onset, per data from the Department of Health dropped from 438 on Aug. 8-14 to 334 on Aug. 15 to 21.
From Aug. 22-28, the number of daily new cases dipped further to 288, 250 from Aug. 29 to Sept. 4 and 196 from Sept. 5 to 11.
The figures were even lower based on data from the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU), going from 205 last Aug. 11 to 17 to 102 from Sept. 8 to 14.
“In a span of one month, we have managed to reduce the number of daily cases by 50 percent. This only shows that our efforts to control the spread of the virus are working,” Belmonte said.
“Nevertheless, we should not be complacent. We continue to be careful in fighting the spread of the virus, especially in a public place, at home and at the workplace,” she added.
The research group also noted another drop in reproduction number (RO), or in the movement of the virus, from 0.92 on Aug. 31 to Sept. 6 to 0.79 last week, which is lower compared to the RO of Metro Manila and the entire country as well.
RO indicates how contagious and infectious disease is and its reproduction number.
It also tells the average number of people who will contract a contagious disease from an infected person.
Dr. Ranjit Rye of OCTA Research said the city must ramp up testing to reach the positivity rate of 10 percent.
“As of now, the city has an 11-percent positivity rate. The more tests you conduct, the more we can go out of the uncertainty and the better for the city,” he said.
The city government recently announced its partnership with OCTA Research, an independent research group composed of scholars from the University of the Philippines and the University of Santo Tomas, to provide weekly and bi-monthly comprehensive reports on the COVID-19 trends in the city.
“Having OCTA Research as our partner gives credibility to our initiatives and data analytics. It helps us to surgically address flattening the curve,” Belmonte said.
Quezon City is using mathematical and scientific tools to better monitor the contagion of the disease and in turn calculate its initiatives against COVID-19, she cited.
According to CESU head Dr. Rolly Cruz, the city is one of the most aggressive local governments when it comes to testing, with an average of 600-800 tests per day.
Joseph Juico, head of the QC COVID-19 Task Force, stressed that intensified testing is a good complement to the city’s molecular laboratory, which can conduct 500 tests per day.
“We are slowly closing in on our target of 1,000 tests per day,” he said.