DRAGON BOAT RACE: Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian and his wife watch the dragon dance performers during the Philippine-China Friendship Dragon Boat Race at the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach on Sunday (July 31, 2022). Dragon boat racing is a folk custom of China’s traditional Duan Wu Festival or Dragon Boat Festival that has been developed into a modern international sport since the 1970s. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Aug 1 (Mabuhay) –Fourteen areas in Luzon have recorded above 20% or “very high” COVID-19 positivity rates in the recent week, while that of the National Capital Region (NCR) increased to 15%, independent monitoring group OCTA Research said.

In a tweet on Sunday, OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David showed data that Albay, Cagayan, Camarines Sur, Cavite, Isabela, La Union, Laguna, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Quezon, Rizal, Tarlac, and Zambales all posted more than 20% one-week positivity rate as of July 29.

Positivity rate refers to the percentage of people who were found positive for COVID-19 among the total number of individuals tested.

The positivity rate was seen highest in Isabela at 36.3% on Friday, compared to its 25.7% on July 23.

It was followed by Tarlac with 31.6%, Laguna with 30.9%, Camarines Sur with 28.4%, Quezon with 27.5%, Zambales with 27.2%, Cavite with 27.1%, Nueva Ecija with 25.8%, Albay with 25.4%, Pampanga with 23.2%, Cagayan with 22.7%, Rizal with 21.7%, Pangasinan with 21%, and La Union with 20.9%.

Meanwhile, David said NCR’s one-week positivity rate slightly went up from 14.2% on July 23 to 15% on July 29.

NCR’s positivity rate was at 14.5% as of Wednesday, July 27.

Despite this, David said that the COVID-19 cases nowadays are not very fatal, especially if the infected individual is fully vaccinated. He also explained that the increase in cases does not translate to an increase in hospitalization rate.

“Nananatili namang mababa ang healthcare utilization natin. Ibig sabihin nito, hindi naman fatal masyado, kasi kung fatal ‘to, kahit onti ‘yung tinetest natin, makikita natin dumadami ‘yung tao sa hospitals,” he said in a Super Radyo dzBB interview.

(Our healthcare utilization remains low. This means, it’s not fatal, because if it is, even if we test only a few, we would see an increase in the number of people in hospitals.)

The Philippines on Saturday logged 3,996 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the active caseload to 33,509.

Based on the Department of Health’s latest data, at least 71.6 million Filipinos are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 16 million individuals have received their booster shots.

Aside from getting the primary vaccine series and booster shots, David also underscored the importance of compliance with minimum public health standards such as wearing face masks and social distancing. (MNS)

READ NEXT: DOH logs 4,159 COVID-19 cases; active tally at 33,622