Experts see lower COVID-19 reproduction number in NCR, case spikes in regions

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 16)— Metro Manila’s COVID-19 reproduction number decreased in the past week, a fellow from the OCTA Research group said on Thursday.

In an interview, Guido David said the coronavirus reproduction number in the capital region dipped to 1.28 this week from 1.39 in the previous week.

The reproductive number ideally should be one or less, as anything higher means there is still significant community transmission, medical experts have earlier pointed out.

Pakonti na nang pakonti ang nadadagdag (There are less and less cases)… which means we may now be getting close to the peak nationally,” David said.

David cited the vaccine rollout, improved contact tracing in some localities, and the effects of the past lockdowns as factors behind the development.

However, he did not discount the possibility of late reporting of cases.

In the regions

Another group of experts meanwhile said the number of people getting infected with the coronavirus is still increasing in several regions.

UP COVID-19 Pandemic Response team spokesperson Jomar Rabajante said the group has recorded case spikes in the Cordillera Administrative Region (particularly in Baguio City), Ilocos Region, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, and Soccsksargen.

“This might mean: One, superspreading events… or maraming (There are many) clusters ng (of) cases. The other one, delay in reporting,” Rabajante said.

Citing the team's analysis, Rabajante said while cases are increasing, the number of people needing intensive care has plateaued, perhaps due to the vaccination rollout.

Rabajante added that if the trend continues, the peak of cases may be seen between late September and early October.

COVID-19 cases nationwide topped 2.3 million on Thursday after the Department of Health reported 21,261 new infections. Of the number, 177,946 are currently active cases.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Carolyn Bonquin contributed to this report.