City hoping to achieve early downtrend

City officials have expressed hope that the city can realize a downtrend in Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases sooner than expected following the Delta variant-driven surge slowdown in Metro Manila and other erstwhile critical areas.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong and the City Health Services Office heads Drs. Rowena Galpo and Celia Flor Brillantes said the city needs to have a sustained decrease in cases in the coming days to achieve said goal.

The mayor on Oct. 4 said that although the city’s case reproduction number or R naught which helps predict the number of cases generated from exposure to a patient had started to go down from 1.4 (the critical level threshold) to less than 1 starting Sept. 22,  it needs further validation as data inputs were still being completed due to delays.

If said R naught level holds after validation and the city sustains this trend for 14 days, then a downtrend is possible towards the end of the second week of October, the mayor surmised.

Galpo and Brillantes agreed that there were indications of a slow decrease in cases in the past days but this is not enough to declare a downturn.

“We need to see a sustained reduction of cases so it’s still too early to say,” Brillantes told the Ugnayan press briefing on Oct. 6.

Galpo during the Management Committee meeting Oct. 5 said they may come up with a clearer picture after this week as they are still completing the data to be analyzed.

Galpo said that as of Oct. 4, the city’s two-week growth rate (TWGR) had been on the negative for the past two reporting dates which is a good indicator.

The average daily attack rate (ADAR) had also slightly lowered at 47.4 per 100,000 population.

The mayor said the 7-day moving average on COVID-19 deaths from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1 also showed the daily number of deaths had gone down from 8 in the previous week to 6.

The mayor assured that the city will continue to employ measures to control the contagion and achieve a downturn as soon as possible.

He encouraged residents to continue complying with health and safety protocols and quarantine restrictions and to avail of the vaccines when their turns come.

The city health officers also appealed to residents to stay at home to avoid exposure and to seek consultation and observe quarantine and preventive measures if experiencing symptoms. – Aileen P. Refuerzo