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MANILA, Sept 27 (Mabuhay) — The trend of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila is declining, OCTA Research Group said Sunday.

The capital region’s positivity rate and reproduction rate have declined to 19 to 20 percent and 0.94, respectively, according to Guido David. A virus reproduction rate of less than 1 is ideal, authorities earlier said.

“Ngayon, medyo bumilis ang pagbaba. Nag-umpisa ‘yan nasa MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) tayo. So in part, nakatulong naman ang lockdown natin, at least sa pagbaba ng bilang ng kaso,” David said.

“At least, sa Metro Manila at saka sa ibang areas, ‘yung nakikita nating pagbaba, may basis naman talaga, ‘di lang case count. Pati positivity rate, bumababa rin… May genuine na pagbaba yan sa nakikita natin.”

The decline in cases may be attributed to the country’s vaccination program and the public’s observance of health protocols, David said.

Some 19.6 million individuals in the country have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as of Sep. 23, representing 25.5 percent of the target population for inoculation.

In Metro Manila, more than 6.7 million have been fully vaccinated so far.

Calabarzon also has a “less than 1” reproduction rate, while Benguet, Cagayan Valley, Negros Oriental and Leyte have recorded a rise in cases, according to David.

“Tinitingnan natin kung may trend ‘yan o baka may clustering lang,” he said.

The decline in cases in Metro Manila is not assured and might still reverse, David said.

“Wala naman tayong assurance na ‘di magbabago yun, unang-una kung ‘di tayo magiingat… May mga paraan para ma-reverse ang trend,” he said.

Lawmakers have criticized OCTA Research for the accuracy of its COVID-19 projections. The group said it uses data from the Department of Health.

The Philippines on Saturday listed 16,907 additional COVID-19 cases, raising the country’s total to 2,470,175, of which 165,092 are active.

The country logged its first COVID-19 case on Jan. 30 last year in a Chinese woman who arrived from Wuhan City, China where the disease is believed to have first emerged. (MNS)

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