OCTA: Benguet sees rise in daily COVID-19 cases, hospital occupancy

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 17) -- Daily COVID-19 cases in Benguet are on an upward trend, with the province’s hospital occupancy rate rising past critical level, according to the independent research group OCTA.

In its Jan. 17 report, OCTA said the average number of daily new cases in Benguet over the past week stood at 82, which is more than double the previous week’s average of 35.

Baguio City accounted for more than half of the new infections, while the rest were spread out in other areas, including La Trinidad, Mankayan and Itogon.

The daily positivity rate, or the percentage of those infected out of all tested (through RT-PCR testing), reached 21% on Jan. 15, with an average of 16% for the week, the group added. This is based on around 1,070 tests conducted per day. OCTA noted that Benguet’s positivity rate on Dec. 18 was at 9%.

These figures are considered high, as the World Health Organization recommends that the positivity rate be maintained below 5%.

Meanwhile, Benguet's reproduction number is currently at 2.06, which means slightly over two people have been infected by a single COVID-19 patient. 

As cases climbed, the hospital occupancy in the province has also increased past the 70% critical level, with bed occupancy at 88% and ICU occupancy at 86% as of Jan. 13, OCTA said.

Cases in NCR still on upward trend, but reproduction number holding steady

In the National Capital Region, the group reported that the average daily new cases from Jan. 10 to 16 was at 430, which is up 45% from the average during the holidays. Meanwhile, the reproduction number in the region is currently at 1.12.

“The reproduction number has been holding steady around that value, which means that the trend in new COVID-19 cases in NCR, though still on an upward trend, has remained the same over the past week,” OCTA said.

NCR’s positivity rate over the past week remained at 4%, which is still in line with the ideal rate of below 5%. This is based on an average of 18,000 RT-PCR tests conducted daily in the region.

The country hit a grim milestone on Sunday after breaching half a million cases. This tally, 500,577 total cases, includes 465,991 recoveries and 9,895 deaths, which brought the active cases to 24,691 or 4.9% of the total infected.