Research group bats for continued GCQ in NCR

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 27) — As President Rodrigo Duterte is set to announce the quarantine classifications in the country for November on Tuesday, the OCTA Research Team is pushing for the continued imposition of general community quarantine in Metro Manila.

"The virus is still with us, and people must remain disciplined and vigilant," the OCTA researchers noted.

According to OCTA's latest monitoring report published on Monday, the Philippines recorded 1,870 new COVID-19 infections from Oct. 18-24. The number is lower than the 2,237 cases tallied from Oct. 11-17.

The OCTA Research Team also stated in its report the easing of physical distancing measures in public transport can cause an increase in COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region for the next two weeks.

"Use of public transport in the NCR increased slowly but steadily in the past week," the team said.

Duterte approved the one-seat apart distancing policy on Oct. 12 to increase public transport capacity. The government also allowed the increase in train ridership to 50% from the previous 30% capacity.

Quezon City topped the list of the most number of new COVID-19 infections among local government units in the past week with 101. It was followed by the City of Manila (76), Davao City (67), Caloocan City (63), and Iloilo City (52).

Meanwhile, Pateros had the highest attack rate or the number of new cases per day relative to the population. The lone municipality in Metro Manila recorded a daily attack rate of 12.2% from Oct. 11-24. Other Metro Manila cities like Pasay (10.1%), San Juan (9.6%), Makati (9.1%), and Pasig (8.1%) complete the five highest attack rates among LGUs in the country for the two-week period.

The town of Itogon in Benguet province and Ilagan town in Isabela province tallied the highest attack rate in LGUs outside Metro Manila from Oct. 11-24, both with 11.6%. These were followed by Iloilo City (11.4%), Baguio City (10.2%), and Gamu, Isabela (9.9%).

The OCTA researchers identified Pasay, Makati, Pasig, and Mandaluyong as high-risk areas due to the high daily case load, high attack rate, and high hospital occupancy rate. Other areas in Luzon considered as high-risk are Baguio City and Itogon (Benguet), Calamba (Laguna), Angono, Cainta, and Taytay (Rizal), Lucena (Quezon), Ilagan (Isabela), Batangas City (Batangas), and General Trias (Cavite).

In Visayas, the high-risk areas are Iloilo City (Iloilo City) and San Carlos City (Negros Occidental). While in Mindanao, Davao City (Davao del Sur) and Butuan City (Agusan del Norte) are part of the list.

The researchers also noted that the total COVID-19 hospital beds occupied in the cities of Makati and Valenzuela are above the 'critical level' or more than 70 percent of its capacity as of Oct. 23. Other LGUs remain on the below critical level in this category.

The OCTA researchers appealed for the increase in the country's healthcare capacity, testing capacity, contact tracing efforts, number of isolation facilities, and pandemic surveillance to contain a future surge in COVID-19 infections.