OCTA: ECQ slowed down COVID-19 transmission, but it may be attributed to lower testing

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The imposition of a strict lockdown has helped in addressing the spike in COVID-19 infections in Manila, according to the OCTA Research Group.

It said in its latest report that the reproduction rate, or the number of people infected by a single COVID-19 patient, decreased to 1.58.

“The good news is that the growth rate compared to the previous week has now slowed down to just 19%… This percentage increase is much lower compared to previous weekly increases of 60%,” OCTA’s report read.

However, it cautioned that this improvement may be “attributed in part” to reduced testing in the National Capital Region. Only 25,880 COVID-19 tests were conducted in Metro Manila from March 28 to 31 which amounts to a 12% decrease compared to the average number of tests done from March 21 to 27.

The one-week ECQ over Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna—or the “NCR Plus”— is set to end on April 4. Health experts and the Department of Health for their part recommended an extension to see a significant drop in COVID-19 cases and patient admissions.