Metro Manila sees rise in COVID-19 reproduction rate – OCTA Research

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 14) — Metro Manila's reproduction rate for the novel coronavirus has breached the threshold of 1, a sign that more people are being infected, experts said Monday.

Prof. Guido David of the OCTA Research Team said the capital region's reproduction rate or Ro is now at 1.06, higher than the 0.99 recorded as of Sunday and the 0.95 over the past week. The data refers to the number of people that an infected person will pass the virus on to.

"An Ro below one means that the trend in new cases is downward, while an Ro above one means the trend is upward. The increase due to the holidays was very likely," David said on Sunday.

"The goal is to not let this number increase even further, because when that happens, cases will start piling up. Right now, we are counting on the preparation of the LGUs (local government units) and the healthcare system for this expected surge in cases," he added.

According to the research team, the lowest reproduction rate was at 0.66, recorded in Metro Manila on October 21. The highest was 1.65 in July.

Malacañang said the rise in reproduction rate is not a cause for concern, but should serve as a reminder for the public to take extra precaution.

“Hindi naman po malaking pagtaas iyan,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said. “But at the same time, it is telling us na kailangan mag-ingat dahil mayroon nang bahagyang pagtaas at ito ay bago pa umabot sa kasagsagan ng pagdiriwang ng Pasko.”

[Translation: That’s not a huge increase. But at the same time, it is telling us that we should be careful because there’s a slight increase that happened even before the peak of Christmas celebrations.]

The Department of Health has repeatedly called on the public to limit Christmas and New Year gatherings to household members to prevent further spread of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 450,000 nationwide. Health protocols should be observed at all times, including the wearing of face masks and face shields, frequent hand washing, and social distancing.

READ: Private hospitals worried over lack of staff, funding in case of post-holiday COVID-19 surge