PH now at ‘moderate risk’ for COVID-19

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 29) — The country is currently at “moderate risk” for COVID-19 as cases in several areas soared after weeks of declining infections, according to the Department of Health.

The two-week growth rate in cases went up to 1% in the past 14 days, from -10% recorded three to four weeks ago, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

A positive growth rate means infections are increasing, while a negative growth indicates that cases are decreasing.

Meanwhile, the average daily attack rate (ADAR) from July 10 to 24 is still at moderate risk at 4.95, Vergeire added.

ADAR, defined as the number of infected people per 100,000 population, was 4.88 from June 27 to July 10.

Officials earlier said the higher the attack rate in an area, the higher a person's risk of getting the infectious disease there.

"We saw a decline in case after the peak in cases in the first week of April," Vergeire said in a briefing. "Since May, however, the decline slowed down, and this mid-July, increases were seen."

Cases in the Visayas and Luzon, except for NCR Plus, are showing the "fastest increase," Vergeire noted.

Meanwhile, infections in the NCR Plus -- composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal -- are seeing a steady rise, she added.

The capital region logged a 19% two-week growth rate, Vergeire said, noting "this should be a cause for concern as the NCR [had] a negative two-week growth rate for weeks before this current week."

Vergeire tagged Las Pinas, Makati, and Pasay as high risk in terms of ADAR. An area is considered high risk if its attack rate reached above seven.

She also flagged the hospitals in Las Pinas and Makati for having high occupancy rates in intensive care units.

Overall, NCR's healthcare utilization rate is at low risk, but a slight increase in hospitalizations was seen in recent days, Vergeire said.

Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus-related deaths has been continuously decreasing since the daily fatalities peaked in April, she noted.

Most of the deaths recorded recently came from areas outside Metro Manila, she added.