OCTA warns of rise in COVID-19 reproduction rate due to Black Nazarene feast

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 14) — A health expert sees a possible rise in the COVID-19 reproduction rate in Metro Manila due to the Feast of the Black Nazarene last January 9.

In the Laging Handa briefing Thursday, Dr. Butch Ong of the OCTA Research Team said the reproduction rate could go up from 1.17 to 1.5.

"Knowing that nagkaroon tayo ng mass gatherings lately lalo na nung Translacion, maaaring umakyat nang bahagya from 1.17 to maybe 1.5," he said.

[Translation: Knowing we had mass gatherings lately, especially the Translacion, it (reproductive rate) may slightly increase from 1.17 to 1.5.]

The reproduction rate refers to the average number of people who can be infected by a person in a susceptible population.

Ong explained the current reproduction rate of 1.17 signifies the active transmission of coronavirus in communities in the National Capital Region. 

He mentioned certain cities where cases have been rising in the past two weeks. This includes Quezon City, Manila, Pasig City, Parañaque City, and Marikina City.

Outside Metro Manila, Ong said there has also been an increase in infections in Davao Del Sur, Isabela, Quezon, Misamis Oriental, Pangasinan, Agusan Del Sur, Negros Oriental, Cebu City, and Zamboanga Del Sur.