(File photo)

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday the National Capital Region (NCR) is still under low-risk classification for Covid-19 as of June 16.

This, after the OCTA Research Group fellow Dr. Guido David said NCR is under moderate risk based on their metrics.

“Based on our metrics, this is our metrics and not necessarily the same as the one used by the DOH, Metro Manila has moved from low to moderate risk. That being said, again, moderate risk does not translate to an escalation of the alert level,” he said in a television interview.

In a Viber message to reporters, the DOH said for an area to be classified under moderate risk, it should have a positive two-week growth rate (TWGR) and average daily attack rate (ADAR) of at least six average cases per day per 100,000 population.

As for the healthcare utilization rate (HCUR), there should also be a moderate risk rate for escalation to Alert Level 2 to happen.

“As of June 15, 2022 while NCR shows positive TWGR, its ADAR is still below 6 at less than 1 case per 100k population. NCR would require at least 818 cases daily for two weeks to reach an ADAR of 6 cases per 100k population,” the DOH said.

The NCR's HCUR remains to be at low risk and infections are expected at this stage of the pandemic, the agency added.

“Most of them will be asymptomatic, mild, or moderate - thanks to vaccination, boosters, and health protocols. What is important is the number of severe and critical hospital admissions,” the DOH said. “So long as these numbers remain low, we will stay at the current alert level while carefully monitoring the situation”.

In a Facebook post, DOH Technical Advisory Group member Dr. Edsel Salvaña said the region’s ADAR is currently under one and while the two-week growth rate is positive, the hospital utilization is way below 50 percent.

(From Dr. Salvaña's Facebook page)

“Please do not make people panic. We have metrics that we follow to make these pronouncements and it is not helping when you make stuff up,” he said.

Salvaña emphasized that only DOH and the Inter Agency Task Force for Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases can make declarations on Covid-19 classifications and are accountable for them.

“NCR is LOW risk. Listen only to properly accountable authorities,” he added.

Meanwhile, the DOH urged the media and the general public to obtain information only from official sources.

“All concerned are also advised to consult with the DOH first before making any forecasts and issuing statements that may cause unnecessary panic and harm among the public,” the agency said. (PNA)