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Research group observes spike in new COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila

Catholic devotees observe physical distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), while attending mass on the feast day of the Black Nazarene, outside Quiapo Church in Manila, Philippines, January 9, 2021. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

The OCTA Research Team observed an upward trend in new 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) cases in Metro Manila following the holiday season.

Based on a report by the OCTA Research Team, the reproduction number in the National Capital Region climbed to 1.17 on January 6, and 1.21 in January 11.

Health Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire, meanwhile, has advised the public to ‘interpret cautiously’ the data.

The Department of Health (DOH) official said on Tuesday, January 12, that the upward trend might have resulted from COVID-19 testing laboratories resuming normal operation after the Yuletide season.

We have seen that for these past four days ‘no, nakita natin na tumataas iyong kaso natin compared to the seven-day moving average natin na mayroon tayo during the holiday period,” Vergeire said during a virtual press briefing.

This has to be interpreted cautiously kasi nga alam natin during the holiday period, medyo bumaba ang laboratory output ‘no by as much as 30 percent,” she added.

Vergeire said that the public should wait for another week for a more accurate conclusion on the trend of COVID-19 cases.

So ngayon lang nagnu-normalize ang ating functions ng mga laboratories natin and this might have some effect ‘no on the number of reported cases,” Vergere stressed.

She also said that the Philippines will have to wait longer before concluding that the 2021 celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene has an impact to the COVID-19 cases in the country.

As to the January 9 celebration, iyong Feast ng Jesus of Nazarene, as we always say, we count 14 days ‘no because this is the incubation period of the virus,” Vergeire explained.

So after 14 days or maybe 2 to 3 weeks saka po natin makikita kung sakaling makakaapekto ito dito sa mga kasong nakikita natin sa ngayon,” the DOH official added.

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