The COVID-19 positivity rate in the National Capital Region (NCR) has gone up from 17.5 percent on September 21 to 18.9 percent on September 28, independent monitoring OCTA Research Group said on Friday.
The positivity rate is the percentage of people found positive for COVID-19 among the total number of individuals tested.
The COVID-19 reproduction number decreased to 1.10 as of September 26 from 1.28 as of September 19. The reproduction number refers to the number of people infected by one case. A reproduction number below 1 indicates that the transmission of the virus is slowing down.
“The growth of new cases in the NCR may have slowed but cases are still rising,” OCTA said.
OCTA said the average daily attack rate in the NCR was considered to be moderate at 7.32 per 100,000 individuals.
“The good news is that the healthcare utilization rate for COVID in the NCR remained low at 35 percent… while the ICU occupancy also remained low at 29 percent. The NCR is at moderate risk,” it said.
OCTA fellow Ranjit Rye said cases were rising in the NCR. Rye said the increase in cases may be due to coronavirus variants, increased mobility, decreased compliance with minimum public health standards (MPHS), and waning immunity.
He urged compliance with MPHS such as the wearing of face masks and hand washing. He also called on the public to get their booster shots.
The Department of Health (DOH) meanwhile said that the public may have moved on from the pandemic as shown by the low COVID-19 booster shots uptake despite the government’s all-out efforts to bring the doses closer to communities.
The DOH said around 109,000 individuals were given booster doses in the special national COVID-19 booster week to ramp up the uptake among the general population.
DOH Officer-In-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters that pandemic fatigue is now evident.
“It seems like we have pandemic fatigue where people are confident already with the first two doses they have. Apparently, they also got sick, so that boosted their immunity,” she said.
The Marcos administration’s PinasLakas Campaign was earlier launched to improve the number of fully-vaccinated senior citizens and the number of eligible population with at least one booster dose.
With a little just over a week before October 8, current accomplishments according to Vergeire is 24.8 percent.
Despite the struggle experienced by government, Vergeire said the DOH is still not keen on returning policies that would require the public to be boosted to avail of services or enjoy liberties such as riding public transportation or going to certain establishments.
Nonetheless, the health official said the matter will be one of the topics when the Inter-Agency Task Force convenes next week.
The DOH also said the government’s special vaccination week was extended until October 1 to make up for the postponement of its kickoff in Luzon due to Typhoon Karding.