Independent research group OCTA said that new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country may swell to 4,000 on Saturday, Jan. 1.

People watch fireworks display that light up the night sky over Quezon Memorial Circle on New Year’s celebration, Jan. 1, 2022. Unlike last year where the city’s traditional countdown was held virtually, Quezon City residents was allowed to attend the festive event under Alert Level 2 with safety guidelines in place to avoid the spread of coronavirus. (Noel B. Pabalate)

OCTA research fellow Dr. Guido David said in a tweet that in the National Capital Region (NCR) there is a projected increase in new cases that is said to reach 3,000.

David said that this is due to the increase as well of the seven-day average in positivity rate which reached 9.53 percent.

“On the second to the last day of 2021, the positivity rate in the NCR increased to 20.56 percent,” he added.

Positivity rate refers to the number of individuals who yielded positive results from among those who were tested for COVID-19.

As of Dec. 28, David also mentioned that the reproduction number in NCR increased to 3.19.

“NCR remained at moderate risk, but is likely to be classified as high risk by January 2, 2022,” he said.

Metro Manila will be under a stricter Alert Level 3 from Jan. 3 to 15 due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases upon the decision of the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Meanwhile in a press conference at the East Avenue Medical Center, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that the declaration to put Metro Manila under Alert Level 3 was based on what they have observed on their metrics.

“We are guided by metrics and this is the reason primarily why we are escalating NCR from Alert Level 2 to 3. Because the metrics state so,” he said.

He said that if the same increase in cases would also be seen in other regions, it is likely that they would also place these areas under Alert Level 3.

Source: Manila Bulletin (