The Department of Health (DOH) observed a “slower”rate of increase in Covid-19 cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) and at the national level.

“This slow down in new cases was reflected in the positive but lower two week growth rates over the past month and a similar decline in the Rt (reproduction number). Our Rt remains less than 1, signalling continuous infection of at least 1 additional person per case – we need to reduce and sustain this to less than 1,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online media forum.

Rt is being used to measure how quickly the virus is spreading.

Vergeire said that the large decline in reported cases “may be have been largely affected by the rapid and large decline in RT-PCR laboratory output.”

“Thus the need to interpret our case metrics carefully and the ongoing assessment by DOH to determine what factors led to this much lower test output,” she added.

This, as the DOH said that the revisions being done to the current policy on the use of face shields will also need the concurrence of seven other agencies who signed the joint memorandum circular.

Meanwhile, the DOH logged 18,659 additional Covid-19 cases on Friday, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 2,453,328. There were also 9,088 recoveries and no deaths reported.

“No deaths were reported today (Sept.24) due to technical issues in COVIDKaya. The Department of Information and Communications Technology is currently addressing issues encountered by the system,” the DOH said.

Of the total number of infections, 7.1 percent (175,324) are active, 91.3 percent (2,240,599) have recovered, and 1.52 percent (37,405) have died.

Image courtesy of Nonoy Lacza

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