According to an OCTA Research fellow, the COVID-19 bed occupancy rate in the National Capital Region (NCR) could still be higher than 70% until the end of the month even if the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Bulacan, and Laguna or the NCR Plus will be extended for one more week.
“Because the R (reproduction number) is above 1 in our assumptions, what we expect is that the hospital occupancy will remain above 70% for the rest of April,” Fr. Nicanor Austriaco said on Saturday. A lower reproduction number means fewer people are being afflicted with the virus after being exposed to a COVID-19 case.
He noted that the projection is based on a scenario that the ECQ in NCR Plus is extended until April 11. It also rests on the assumption that the average number of days a COVID-19 patient stays in the hospital is 27, he added, citing data from the Philippine General Hospital, a COVID-19 referral hospital.
In the same briefing, OCTA fellow Dr. Guido David said that the reproduction number in Metro Manila, the epicenter of the local virus outbreak, is currently at 1.65. It may go down to 1.33 a week from now and further down to 1.09 by April 16 if the ECQ is extended for at least seven more days.
Austriaco said the reproduction number needs to drop to less than 1 for “several weeks” to lower the bed utilization rates.