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Tuesday, October 20, 2020
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Experts Name 11 Areas for Stricter Quarantine Amid Decline in COVID-19 Cases

These areas were found to have a daily attack rate of more than 1%.

As of this morning, October 8, the number of COVID-19 cases in the country is at more than 330,000—making it one of the highest in the Southeast Asian region. However, despite this report, experts say that the daily number of COVID-19 patients in the country is now decreasing.

According to the University of the Philippines OCTA Research team, the reproduction number of COVID-19 in the country has been on a downward trend, as seen in daily case reports that have been less than 2,500 in the last couple of weeks.

“The number of cases in the Philippines has been decreasing, and currently at less around 2,500 new cases per day (based on case reports). The reproduction number in the Philippines is 0.87, in line with the downward trend in test reports,” the research team explained.

The data used for the latest UP OCTA Research report are case reports from August 25 to October 5. They added that a reproduction number below 1 means the curve has been flattened. (Read: What is the difference between MECQ, GCQ, and MGCQ?)

Even the National Capital Region (NCR), which has been logging the most cases nationwide in the past, has reported a 0.82 reproduction number. This is because the region has been reporting less than 1,000 cases daily for the past weeks. However, NCR is still at an 8% positivity rate—lower than its previous 14%—which is still above the World Health Organization (WHO)’s ideal 5% positivity rate.

Stricter Quarantine Measures

covid-19-cases-decreasing
Soldiers, police man checkpoint at the boundary of Quezon and Laguna amid enhanced community quarantine. (Photo from Peewee Bacuno / MSN.com)

Despite the downward trend in cases nationwide, the UP OCTA Research team is recommending several areas to be put under a stricter classification of community quarantine as they are considered “high-risk” areas. The team explained that these areas have a daily attack rate of more than 1%, and has been higher than that of the past two weeks.

The areas that are recommended to be under a stricter quarantine qualification are the following:

  • Benguet (including Baguio City)
  • Davao Del Sur (including Davao City)
  • Iloilo (including Iloilo City)
  • Misamis Oriental (including Cagayan de Oro)
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Quezon Province
  • Pangasinan (including Dagupan)
  • Western Samar
  • Zamboanga Del Sur (including Zamboanga City)

It was added that the government may also want to consider putting Cagayan and Isabela under a stricter quarantine despite it being low-risk for COVID-19. The recommendation comes after the researchers found that the areas have limited healthcare capacity.

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