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MANILA, Nov 11 (Mabuhay) —

COVID-19 positivity rate in the National Capital Region (NCR) has decreased to 3%, meeting the 5% recommendation of the World Health Organization, according to independent monitoring group OCTA Research on Thursday.

OCTA fellow Dr. Guido David said NCR has recorded an average daily attack rate (ADAR) of 2.58 and a reproduction number of 0.37.

“I think we might not have reached 3% in the past. I have to double-check but based on what I looked at, preliminary, I did not find that we reached 3% in the NCR before now, before this week,” David said in the group’s virtual press briefing.

“Although WHO recommends 5% or lower, CDC or some other institutions actually recommend 3% or lower. So we are at that level,” he added, referring to the United States’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Reproduction rate 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.

According to David, three local government units in NCR are classified as very low risk while 14 are classified as low risk for COVID-19.

David said the three LGUs classified as very low risk are Navotas with an ADAR of 0.37; Caloocan with 1.28; and Malabon with 1.51.

“If you look at Navotas, it has 0.37 ADAR and they’re just averaging 1 case per day over the past week. Other LGUs are also averaging single digits like Malabon, six cases per day; San Juan, five cases per day; Pateros, nine cases per day,” he said.

David said the OCTA is also expecting cases in NCR to decrease further due to the vaccination program of the government.

“We are at a point where we might reach a plateauing sometime soon or cases might decrease further. We think it’s going to be the latter. Why would cases decrease further because of the continued vaccination rollout,” he said.

“But, of course, we could be wrong. We could start plateauing at some level but it remains to be seen,” David added.

According to David, Davao City is now also classified as a very low risk for COVID-19.

“A snapshot of the major metropolitan areas, we actually see Cebu City and Davao City as having very low risk,” David said.

Davao City recorded an ADAR of 1.82 with a reproduction number of 0.38 as well as a positivity rate of 5% while Cebu City recorded an ADAR OF 1.36, a reproduction number of 0.56, and a positivity rate of 2%.

Meanwhile, he said that the lowering of ADAR nationwide and the increase of the percentage of vaccinated individuals suggest that the country is getting closer to population protection.

“This is a rough estimate of the vaccination level… we could see that in terms of the ADAR of the country, which is in blue, the decrease happened sometime at around 15% full vaccination,” David said.

“So there’s relevance to that. It means that at least it suggests that the level of population protection is something that we are getting closer to,” he added. (MNS)

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