PNP tally up 300% in just a week with 4 provinces now at Alert Level 4
The number of areas placed under granular lockdown due to COVID-19 has climbed to 844 across the country, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said, a more than 300 percent increase in a week’s time from only 206 on Jan. 12.
As this developed, three provinces in the Cordillera Administrative Region – Kalinga, Ifugao and Mountain Province—as well as Northern Samar were placed under Alert Level 4 by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases starting today (Friday) to Jan. 31.
Metro Manila topped the list with 233 areas from only 103 Wednesday last week, followed by the Cordillera Administrative Region, 210 (from only 1); Cagayan Valley, 203 (from 57), Ilocos Region, 165; Mimaropa, 18 (from 5) and Western Visayas, 15.
From 765 areas under granular lockdown on Tuesday, 79 more were added on Wednesday, the PNP said.
The country logged 31,173 new infections yesterday, bringing the total to 3,324,478, the Department of Health (DOH) said.
The positivity rate stood at 43.3 percent.
Of the 275,364 active cases, 8,424 were asymptomatic; 262,168 were mild; 2,979 were moderate; 1,488 were severe; and 305 were critical.
Nationwide, 50 percent of ICU beds, 51 percent of isolation beds, 54 percent of ward beds, and 24 percent of ventilators were in use.
In Metro Manila, 51 percent of ICU beds, 47 percent of isolation beds, 58 percent of ward beds, and 29 percent of ventilators were in use.
National Task Force Against COVID-19 medical adviser Dr. Ted Herbosa said it was still difficult to tell if the recent decline of cases in the National Capital Region is already the start of the downward trajectory of infections.
“It is hard to say if there is already a downward trend even though there was indeed a rapid decline in the past two days. We cannot relax yet. We are still cautious,” Herbosa said.
Herbosa said that they are looking at the one-week average daily attack rate and growth rate to assess the trend of COVID-19 cases.
As of Thursday, Metro Manila still topped the regions with the most number of new cases at 8,883 or 30 percent of the total, followed by Calabarzon with 6,471 and Central Luzon with 2,783.
OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David, said the weekly growth rate of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila is now at -10 percent, indicating a downward trajectory.
The Department of Health, however, said the cases continue to increase even as the growth rate has started to plateau.
“It is starting to plateau but we still do not know if it will go up again. Hopefully, it will start to go down,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a recent report to President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Before, the growth rate was almost double every one or two days. Now, it is still increasing, but the growth rate is slowing down,” Duque added. With Willie Casas