Cases climb back over 20k

The Philippines logged 20,755 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday, even as the independent OCTA Research Group touted a “genuine decrease” in cases in Metro Manila.

COVID CONTRAST. A local watchman places a warning sign placing Cherry Street in Sampaloc Site II, BF Homes, Paranaque City under granular lockdown due to 300 COVID-19 cases in 13 streets there on Sunday. Danny Pata 
Sunday's national tally brought total infections to 2,490,858. It was the first time new cases breached the 20,000 level in a week, or since Sept. 18 when 23,075 cases were listed.

For the second day in a row, no deaths were reported because of technical glitch in the case monitoring system.

The Department of Health (DOH) said the Department of Information and Communications was working to solve the problem and said succeeding reports will include the previous days' backlogs when the issue is resolved.

Meanwhile, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos said Sunday he is hopeful the National Capital Region would be placed under pandemic alert level 3 in October.

Metro Manila is currently classified under alert level 4 of a general community quarantine until September 30.

In a report on "24 Oras" television, Abalos said the growth and reproduction rates of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila are already decreasing.

"As far as numbers of growth rate is going down, reproduction rate, it is very, very encouraging. Even vaccination itself, we reached high inoculation levels in Metro Manila," he said.

Even as the national figures were rising, OCTA said COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila were declining, saying a two-week lockdown helped bring the numbers down.

In an interview with ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo, OCTA Research fellow Guido David the positivity rate had dropped to about 19 percent or 20 percent, while the reproduction rate had dropped to 0.94.

Guido said the decline in cases could quickly be reversed, however.

"We have no assurance it will not change, especially if we're not careful... There are still ways for the trend to be reversed," he said.

Meanwhile, patients who recovered and completed the 14 days isolation from mild COVID-19 leave the Manila Mega COVID-19 Field Hospital at Quirino Grandstand in the capital. Norman Cruz
Guido said the decline in cases may also be attributed to the country's vaccination program and the public's observance of health protocols.

The DOH reported 24,391 new recoveries, bringing the total recoveries to 2,292,006.

There were 161,447, of which 81.1 percent were mild, 13.4 percent were asymptomatic, 0.7 percent were critical, 1.6 percent were severe, and 3.18 percent were moderate.

Nationwide, 75 percent of ICU beds, 65 percent of isolation beds, 68 percent of ward beds, and 54 percent of ventilators, were in use.

In Metro Manila, 76 percent of ICU beds, 55 percent of isolation beds, 64 percent of ward beds, and 57 percent of ventilators, were in use.

As of Sept. 23, 19.6 million people in the country have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This represents 25.5 percent of the target population for inoculation.

In other developments:

• Another member of the Congregation of the Religious of The Virgin Mary (RVM Sisters) died from COVID-19 on Saturday, a spokesperson said Sunday. This brought to 10 the number of nuns at the convent who died due to the disease. On Thursday, the convent said nine out of 62 sisters who contracted the respiratory illness had died. Some 20 percent of those who contracted the disease were in critical or severe condition, said RVM Sister Ma. Anicia Co. The last two of the 50 lay personnel who tested positive are on their way to recovery, she told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

• Thirty-five villages ibn will be under granular lockdown from 8 p.m. Sunday until Oct. 4 due to increased Covid-19 cases. The order comes after a five-day respite from month-long lockdowns that have affected most villages in the city. The Department of Health reported 125 active cases in the affected areas as of Friday but local officials are still waiting for the confirmatory test results. Watchmen will be deployed to make sure those below 18 years and above 65, pregnant, and with comorbidities will stay home, but those purchasing essential goods or accessing essential services will be allowed to go out.

Topics: COVID-19 infections , Metro Manila , OCTA Research Group , Department of Health , Department of Information and Communications
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