(File photo)

MANILA – The positivity rate -- the number of people testing for Covid-19 -- in the National Capital Region (NCR) increased to 18.5 percent as of Sept. 24 from last week’s 15.7 percent, the OCTA Research Group said Monday.

“This has already exceeded the positivity rate of 17.5 percent on August 5, 2022,” OCTA Research Group fellow Dr. Guido David said over Twitter.

NCR’s reproduction number, the number of individuals a case could infect, also increased from 1.21 (Sept. 5) to 1.30 as of Sept. 22.

“The NCR had 1,600 new Covid-19 cases on September 25, 2022 based on the date from DOH. This was higher than peak of 1502 new cases reported on August 7, 2022,” David said.

The one-week growth in the NCR increased to 25 percent as of Sept. 25, almost double of the 13 percent rate on Sept. 18.

The region’s healthcare utilization rate for Covid-19 remained low at 36 percent.

In a televised public briefing, infectious disease expert Dr. Rontgene Solante said the rise in cases is brought about by the increased mobility in the region and people’s complacency in observing health protocols.

“Ang na-admit lang ‘yung mga elderly population, ‘yung mga may edad na 65 pataas, hindi pa masyadong nabakunahan, meron ding nabakunahan na at ‘yun ‘yung mga may (Those who are admitted in hospitals are the elderly population ages 65 and above, partially vaccinated, and vaccinated with) comorbidities,” he said.

Omicron subvariants only cause mild symptoms among members of the population who are not vulnerable, he added. (PNA)