COVID-19 cases in the country may go as low as 500 per day by the end of this month if the downward trend of infection continues, the independent OCTA Research Group said Monday.
In a briefing, OCTA fellow Dr. Guido David said COVID-19 indicators in the National Capital Region (NCR) are going down, with its seven-day case average now at 210 per day.
He said this was the lowest count since the election period.
The positivity rate, or the percentage of persons testing positive for COVID-19, went down to 8.9 percent in the NCR, the lowest since July 4.
NCR’s reproduction number also went down to 0.68. Its average daily attack rate was also at 1.46 and health care utilization at 28 percent.
He said he was confident the trend would continue because Filipinos have learned to protect themselves against the virus.
Aside from NCR, David said positivity rates are also declining in Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga, Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas.
David said most of the provinces were also seeing declines in COVID-19 cases, with the national average at 907 cases per day, and a growth rate of minus 30 percent.
The Department of Health (DOH) said the Philippines logged 6,346 COVID-19 cases in the past week.
From Oct. 31 to Nov. 6, an average of 907 daily infections were recorded in the country, which is 30 percent lower compared to the previous week.
Of the new infections during the week, two or 0.04 percent were severe and critical cases, the latest DOH bulletin said.
As of Sunday, 640 or 9.9 percent of COVID-19 admissions were in severe and critical condition.
At least 503 or 20.6 percent of 2,437 intensive care unit beds for COVID-19 patients were occupied. The non-ICU bed utilization rate was at 24.3 percent.
During the past week, the DOH has also verified 243 more COVID-related fatalities, citing late encoding of death information.
As of Nov. 3, almost 73.6 million people in the country are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Of the figure, more than 20.6 million have received their first booster while almost 3.4 million have gotten their second booster.
A former government adviser on Monday called on the DOH to allow the private sector to procure modified COVID-19 vaccines, or “bivalent vaccines” that target the Omicron variant and the original form of the virus.
Former presidential adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said there is a plan from the government to purchase 10 million doses of bivalent vaccines, which would be administered mostly to vulnerable groups, including seniors and people with comorbidities.
Due to a supposed limited supply of bivalent vaccines, Concepcion said the private sector should be allowed to preregister employees who would qualify under the priority sector.
Also on Monday, former senator Leila de Lima announced that she tested positive for COVID-19.
In a dispatch, the former lawmaker said her antigen and RT-PCR tests both yielded positive results.
“When attending recent hearings in the [two] remaining trumped-up charges, with practically jam-packed courtrooms, I felt it was just a matter of time before contracting the virus. So it is that last Saturday, Nov. 5, or a day after the hearing in one of the cases, I started having colds (running nose), mild cough, itchy throat, and joint/body aches short of feverish, which prompted the tests,” De Lima said.
“Now in self-isolation (nothing new for me) in my isolated detention quarters. Taking anti-viral meds as prescribed by my doctors. Resting, reading a novel, praying,” she added.
De Lima said she already instructed her staff members to advise those whom she interacted with during last week’s hearing including former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos, who apologized to the former senator during their brief encounter last Friday.
Aside from Ragos, De Lima said her staff also informed their lawyers, prosecutors, court personnel, Philippine National Police escorts, and close-in female guards about her COVID-19 situation.
“I hope no one else got infected under such a setting. I’ll be fine,” she said.
Due to De Lima’s condition, Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Presiding Judge Romeo Buenaventura canceled the hearing set on Monday, Nov. 7, and reset it to Nov. 21 and Dec. 5.