Independent pandemic monitor OCTA Research senior fellow Guido David said in a tweet posted September 18, early monitoring suggested that Covid19 cases in Metro Manila may have already peaked.
He stated that the reproduction number, the average number of people infected by a Covid19-infected individual, decreased to 1.22, with the positivity rate, the percentage of people found positive for Covid among testing, also decreased to 24%.
In a phone interview given to The Manila Times on September 18, David clarified that due to backlogs in data reporting, the number of new cases may still rise and that the declining trend may be seen only in the coming weeks. He said that efforts must be sustained as trends could still reverse.
David also said that he is not seeing the National Capital Region (NCR) reporting 16,000 to 43,000 new cases by the end of September, agreeing with the Department of Health’s (DOH) prediction.
“It is an overestimation, as our growth rate continues to decrease even if it is currently only 14%, meaning that it is impossible to go to 16,000 cases per day on average unless there is an explosion in the number of cases,” he explained to The Manila Times.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire stated that it is yet to be seen if the country has reached the peak of Covid19 cases. She referenced the DOH data that recorded an 8% increase in NCR last week, as well as the increase in the two-week national growth rate and average daily attack rate.
On September 11, the country’s highest single-day number of cases were recorded at 24, 695, with the number of new cases remaining high at 23,134 as of September 18.
Amidst this, 94 provinces are under Alert Level 4, with 18 areas in independent component and highly urbanized cities at Alert Level 3, and 9 areas under Alert Level 2.
Meanwhile, David attributed the possible decline to the increased vaccination rate gaining momentum with the steady arrival of vaccines.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. has reported that the vaccination drive of the country has been ahead of schedule, with a reported 40, 518, 845 vaccine doses already administered, bringing the number of fully vaccinated individuals to 23% of the target 77 million until herd immunity is reached.
The daily average vaccination rate is now at 421,606.
As of September 17, the number of active Covid19 cases in Metro Manila has reached 52,561, with 188,108 active cases nationwide, including 20,336 new recorded cases.