(PNA photo by Gil Calinga)

MANILA – The increase in positivity rate or the number of people who test positive for Covid-19 in select areas nationwide is not a cause for alarm, the OCTA Research Group said Tuesday.

In a televised public briefing, OCTA Research Group fellow Dr. Guido David said the National Capital Region, Region 4-A (Calabarzon), Central Luzon and the Visayas have recorded increases in positivity rate and coronavirus cases.

In the past five consecutive days, the country has logged more than 2,000 new cases per day.

David said that such figures are high but they "are not cause for alarm".

"Although, mayroon na rin sa Pangasinan and sa La Union na nakikita natin na pagtaas ng cases at ng positivity rate; ganoon din sa Cagayan at sa Isabela. At iyon nga, nabanggit ko nga sa Western Visayas mostly sa Iloilo area. Sa Central Luzon naman naka-center iyon sa (there is also positivity rate increase in Pangasinan and La Union, also in Cagayan and Isabela. And like what I said in Western Visayas, mostly in Iloilo area. In Central Luzon, it's centered in) Pampanga, Bulacan, Bataan, Nueva Ecija and Tarlac, then, most of Calabarzon, except maybe Quezon," he said.

"Kung ikukumpara natin noong January, umabot tayo ng almost 40,000 cases in one day at last year noong Delta surge, umabot tayo ng (If we'll compare last January, we reached almost 40,000 cases in one day last year during the Delta surge, we reached) more than 20,000 cases in a day," he added.

If the cases or risks are high, the health care utilization rate is monitored and at this point, Guido said the HCUR remains low.

Earlier, the group noted that bed occupancy in NCR hospitals is at 30.7 percent -- lower than the 50 percent threshold for healthcare utilization.

When asked about the possibility of the cases already peaking in the NCR, David said it could already be starting as the region's positivity rate has gone down to 12 percent (July 17) from 14 percent (July 15) which is the highest it has recorded recently.

"Ang ibig sabihin nito kung magtuluy-tuloy ‘to, baka pababa na iyong trend natin sa Metro Manila. Hindi pa sa buong bansa necessarily kasi may mga ibang regions pa na nagsisimula pa lang tumaas iyong bilang ng kaso, especially sa ibang bahagi ng Visayas at Mindanao at doon din sa mga mas malayong lugar sa Luzon (This means, if this continues, the case trend in NCR could be going down, but not necessarily nationwide because there are regions which are just starting to have increase in cases especially in the Visayas and Mindanao and far-flung areas in Luzon)," he said.

To keep the Covid-19 numbers low nationwide, David said Filipinos must continue to observe the minimum public health standards, get vaccinated and boosted, and undergo self-isolation when having symptoms to help prevent transmission of the virus. (PNA)