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MANILA, Sept 22 (Mabuhay) — The Philippines could possibly be in the last stages of its battle against the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant especially in Metro Manila where the reproduction number has started to decrease, the OCTA Research Group said Tuesday.

According to OCTA Research fellow Guido David, the recent number of cases in Metro Manila and nearby regions has started to decline, indicating that actual cases are falling in line with the downtrend predicted this month.

“We are seeing good news in Metro Manila. We’re happy to share this with everyone because as we noted, protecting the fourth quarter is very important and I think, with the downtrend, we are starting to see this is now becoming a reality,” he said during the Pandesal Forum.

“I think we’re at the… what we’d might call the end game of the delta variant because it’s already starting to decrease,” he said, comparing the Philippine  figures with those recorded in India and Indonesia.

David said the reproduction number for the National Capital Region has decreased to 1.1, and the growth rate in the region has remained below zero in the past few days.

“We projected originally that we should see the downtrend sometime second or third week of September. It was delayed, but this is now what we’re seeing,” he said.

The same patterns are also being seen in nearby provinces such as Cavite, Laguna, and Bulacan, but increases continue to be reported in other regions such as Region 2 or the Cagayan region.

David noted that the recent downtrend is similar to the pattern seen in April, after strict quarantine restrictions were reimposed.

“Again we’re seeing the same patterns and this is confirmed by the negative growth rate, by the decrease in cases, and the decrease in reproduction number,” he explained.

The National Capital Region (NCR) is under Alert Level 4, under which select businesses have been allowed to resume operations, albeit at a limited capacity.

The Philippines on Tuesday reported 16,361 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the country’s active cases to 171,142. The total caseload now stands at 2,401,916 which includes 2,193,700 recoveries and 37,074 deaths.(MNS)

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