MANILA - The positive impact of COVID-19 in Manila is steadily declining as the number of daily cases of coronavirus in the Philippines also continues to decline, according to a group of analysts on Wednesday morning, providing a brighter outlook for the country.
The OCTA study group reported that the proportion of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Metro Manila is in the right direction, at 6 percent and close to the World Health Organization's recommended target of 5 percent to effectively contain the virus.
Even after the Philippine Red Cross resumed coronavirus testing services, following a debt dispute with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), daily infections in the country are declining, especially in the metropolitan area, analysts say.
The average number of new cases per day in the Philippines has dropped to about 1,800, while the new average in Manila is 490, a significant improvement from 2,500 in August, OCTA said.
On Tuesday, the Philippines recorded 1772 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 387,161.
The Department of Health said it was the 21st consecutive day that the country's daily rate was less than 3,000, although it did not include data from 18 accredited testing laboratories that did not provide timely results.
The PH reported 1,772 new cases of IDOC-19, with a total of more than 387,000 infected.
However, the OCTA team, which included professors from the University of the Philippines, the University of Santo Thomas, and Providen College in the United States, warned that the positive downward trend in the Philippines and Manila could be "easily reversed" if the government, private sector, and public sector were calmed by the virus and began to ignore the anti-virus policy.
"To this end, we urge national and local governments to strictly monitor and enforce minimum health standards such as physical distance, masks and face shields, and good hygiene to reverse the growing trend of transmission in the community," the group said.
They called on local governments (LGUs) in areas of high risk for coronavirus transmission to increase testing, contact monitoring, and isolation to stop the spread of the disease in their jurisdictions.
"In areas identified as being at high risk of transmission, local governments must urgently implement more aggressive and effective local blockades with tighter border controls to inhibit further spread of the virus," the analysts said.
Earlier, the Health Ministry said it hopes the entire country can move to softer quarantine protocols by the first quarter of next year if the LGU follows its anti-corrosion policies and programs sufficiently.
Since COVID-19 first appeared in China, nearly 47 million people worldwide have been infected with it, according to the Johns Hopkins University board. Of those, more than 1.2 million have died and more than 31.3 million have recovered.
workers and vendors line up to get free swab tests at the Pritil Public Market in Tondo, Manila