The COVID-19 reproduction number of the National Capital Region (NCR) has slightly increased to 1.05, independent monitoring OCTA Research Group said Tuesday.
The reproduction number refers to the number of people infected by one case. A reproduction number that is below 1 indicates that the transmission of the virus is slowing down.
Despite the increase, OCTA fellow Dr. Guido David assured the public this does not necessarily mean cases will surge.
However, David noted the last two times the reproduction number increased to more than 1 was during the start of the surges caused by the more transmissible Omicron and Delta variants.
“Over the next few weeks, the best-case scenario is status quo, while the worst-case scenario, based on currently available data, is a weak surge in COVID-19 cases,” David said in a tweet.
David earlier said the slight increase in COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila and other areas was caused by the more transmissible Omicron subvariants and not due to activities related to the May 9 elections.
The country recently detected the Omicron subvariant BA.4 from a Filipino who flew in from the Middle East on May 4.
A week ago, the country also detected the local transmission of the Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1.
Despite this, the country and most of its regions remain under the minimal risk case classification against COVID-19, according to the Department of Health.
David said the average daily attack rate remained very low at 0.52 while the positivity rate was recorded at 1.2 percent still meeting the benchmark of the World Health Organization (WHO).
David, in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB, said the good news is that the cases recorded are only experiencing mild symptoms.
“Yes, that’s the good news. We also saw this in January. And because these subvariants are Omicron, the presentation of cases is still mild, especially if they are vaccinated,” he said.
David urged the public to get vaccinated and for those eligible to get their boosters.
In other developments:
• Malacañang on Tuesday emphasized the government’s milestones in combating the COVID-19 pandemic after a report said President Rodrigo Duterte issued false claims about the coronavirus during the peak of its spread.
• All the three close contacts of the Philippines’ first BA.4 case are asymptomatic, the DOH said Tuesday.
• Even though the Philippines has exceeded its 70 percent vaccination rate, the government admitted the administration of booster shots remains a challenge.