KIDS’ VAX. Parents accompany their children who are scheduled to be inoculated with the first dose of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at the De La Salle University-Dasmariñas campus in Cavite on Wednesday (Jan. 19, 2022). The government targets to expand the inoculation drive to kids 5 to 11 years old by February. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Jan 20 (Mabuhay) –National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 medical adviser Dr. Ted Herbosa on Thursday said it is hard to tell if the recent decline of cases in the National Capital Region is the start of the downward trajectory of infections.

Herbosa was asked if the decline of cases in the NCR means that the surge caused by the Omicron variant already reached its peak and is now on a downward trend.

“Mahirap magsabi na ito na nga yung pababa. Although negative nga at bumababa because of the past two days mabilis pa nga yung pagbaba, hindi pa rin tayo nagre-relax. We are still cautious,” he answered.

Herbosa added that they are looking at the one-week average daily attack rate and growth rate to assess the trend of COVID-19 cases.

Despite the decline of infections, Herbosa warned that it is possible that the COVID-19 cases reported last week would start to experience “problems” and “complications” and be sent to hospitals.

Due to this, he said hospitals are preparing for this situation.

On Wednesday, OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said the weekly growth rate of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila is now at -10%, indicating a downward trajectory.

He added that the reproduction number in Metro Manila has dipped to 1.79 from 2.07.

“The pattern is very similar to the South Africa experience of a rapid surge followed by a dramatic decrease in infections,” David said, but asked the public not to be complacent and to continue observing basic health protocols.

On Wednesday, the Philippines documented 22,958 more COVID-19 infections, bringing the total to 3,293,625, according to the Department of Health. Active cases are 270,728.

The country’s fatality tally rose to 53,044, with 82 new deaths. (MNS)

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