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NCR faces ‘severe outbreak’ of COVID-19 cases: OCTA; PH at ‘critical risk’ according to DOH

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Jan 11, 2022 1:00 pm

As the country logs record-high number of daily COVID-19 cases driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, the National Capital Region is in a “severe outbreak” of COVID-19 cases according to OCTA Research, while the Philippines is now at “critical risk” the DOH said.

“The average daily attack rate (ADAR) increased to 89.42, which is above the CovidActNow threshold for a severe outbreak (greater than 75 per day per 100k),” said OCTA Research fellow Guido David in a tweet on Tuesday, Jan 11.

The ADAR refers to the percentage of an at-risk population that contracts the virus during a specified time interval in a certain area.

According to OCTA’s data, NCR’s ADAR from Dec. 28, 2021 to Jan. 3 was at high 12. 71. It showed a significant leap from Jan. 4 to 10 with 89.42, which is marked as severe.

NCR’s seven-day positivity also increased to 48% while the reproduction number decreased to 5.22 from 5.65, which indicates the trend slowed down slightly.

Healthcare utilization rate went up to 57% and is likely to exceed 70% next week according to David. The intensive care unit occupancy also increased to 52% on Jan. 4 to 10 compared to only 29% on Dec. 28, 2021 to Jan. 3.

With these figures, OCTA classifies NCR as “very high risk.”

Philippines “critical risk” for COVID-19

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Monday evening, Jan. 10, that the country is now classified as “critical risk” as it saw 690% increase in the seven-day average of daily reported cases.

It was only on Jan. 3 when the DOH announced that the Philippines was classified as “high risk” due to a spike in cases and the threat of a “high probability” of local transmission of the Omicron variant.

Duque said the country’s classification was escalated after recording 3,663% two-week COVID-19 growth rate, as seen in the record-high numbers of those infected with COVID-19 post-holidays.

The Philippines’ average daily attack rate is also now at 10.47 per 100,000 individuals.

The Health secretary also noted that Omicron is now the dominant COVID-19 variant in the country.

“Base sa pinaka-huling run of whole genome sequencing, 60% na po ng samples na na-sequence ay positive na po for Omicron variant so siya na po ang nagdo-dominate na variant whereas before it was the Delta,” Duque said during President Rodrigo Duterte’s late night address.

Aside from Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Central Luzon are also considered at critical risk. 

On Jan. 10, the Philippines logged 33,169 new COVID-19 cases, the highest number of fresh infections ever in a single day since the onset of the pandemic. Of the country’s 2,998,530 total caseload, 157,526 of which are active cases.