Europe-PH News

NCR experiencing 'serious surge' of COVID-19 cases, community transmission of Delta possible — OCTA

August 02, 2021

CNN Philippines

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 1) — Metro Manila is now having a "serious surge," independent research group OCTA said, warning that the Delta coronavirus variant may be fuelling the spike.

The country's capital region on Saturday logged 1,740 new cases, its highest since May 10 when it was under modified enhanced community quarantine.

The seven-day average of new infections also jumped to 1,279, up by 40% from the previous week.

"The rapid growth rate suggests the possibility of community transmission of the Delta variant in the NCR," OCTA said in a report issued Sunday.

The Department of Health reported last week that the country has detected a total of 216 Delta variant cases, including eight deaths.

In a briefing on Saturday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the new variant is only "part of those factors that we are now considering when it comes to the increasing number of cases." She also said there should be enough evidence before they could confirm a community transmission of the Delta variant.

READ: COVID-19 spread seen despite hard lockdown, NCR active cases to top 30,000 by end-Sept. — DOH

According to OCTA, the capital region's reproduction number increased to 1.52 from 1.29 the previous week.

OCTA also noted that hospital bed and ICU occupancy rates were higher, increasing to 45% and 52%, respectively.

"At the current rate, if there are no changes in quarantine restrictions in the NCR, hospital beds would reach 70% occupancy in less than five weeks, while ICU beds will reach 70% occupancy in less than three weeks," it said.

OCTA said 13 areas in the region are now high-risk, namely: Pateros, Makati, San Juan, Malabon, Navotas, Las Piñas, Pasig, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Parañaque, Quezon City, Marikina, and Caloocan.

Coronavirus restrictions will be tightened from Aug. 6 to 20 as the pandemic task force places the capital region under enhanced community quarantine.


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