THE REPRODUCTION number of coronavirus cases in Metro Manila continues to decline, a group of public health researchers said on Thursday, two weeks after the government enforced a new lockdown system.

The reproduction number in the capital region decreased to 0.87, which is lower than the critical cut-off of 1.4, OCTA Research Group said in its latest monitoring report.

OCTA said the seven-day average of new coronavirus cases in Metro Manila dropped by 17% to 3,891, while the positivity rate dropped to 18% from 21% the previous week. Still, the positivity rate is “high,” it said.

Philippine health authorities on Thursday reported 14,286 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases nationwide, bringing the total to 2.55 million.

The death toll rose to 38,294 after 130 more patients died, while recoveries increased by 8,268 to 2.4 million, the Department of Health (DoH) said in a bulletin.

DoH said there were 138,294 active cases, 77.7% of which were mild, 15.8% were asymptomatic, 2.0% were severe, 3.72% were moderate and 0.9% were critical.

Despite its improving coronavirus numbers, Metro Manila remains high-risk for the coronavirus, OCTA said.

“Using Covid Act Now guidelines, NCR (National Capital Region) remained at high risk but could possibly improve to moderate risk within a week,” it said.

It added that several local government units in the region such as Navotas, Manila, Malabon, Pasay, Valenzuela, and Pateros are under a moderate-risk classification.

Meanwhile, the country on Thursday took delivery of about 1.2 million doses of the vaccine made by Moderna, Inc. Of these, about 863,800 doses were paid for by the national government, while 369,600 doses were purchased by the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) Foundation.

Nearly 45.15 million doses of coronavirus vaccines had been given out as of Sept. 29, Palace spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. told a televised news briefing.

More than 21.1 million people or 27.36% of adult Filipinos had been fully vaccinated, he added.

Earlier this week, the Presidential Palace announced that the country will start vaccinating the general population and minors against the coronavirus in October. Children aged 12 to 17 years who are seriously ill would be prioritized, according to DoH. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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