THREE cities outside Metro Manila have recorded “significant increases” in new COVID-19 infections, the independent research group OCTA said Wednesday.
These include Cagayan de Oro, Davao City, and Iloilo City, which are in the top 10 list of areas outside the national capital region with the biggest rise in cases over the past week.
Cagayan de Oro ranked second highest with 94 new cases, which translates to a 52% increase. Davao City stood at the 4th spot, as it saw a 36% jump with 61 more infections. Meanwhile, Iloilo City, which is 7th in the list, recorded the steepest rise at 99% with 58 more virus-hit residents.
The highest number of new cases outside NCR was still seen in Zamboanga City with 158, the report showed.
OCTA said most local government units within the “NCR Plus” are on a downward trend in cases. This area includes Metro Manila and nearby provinces Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.
The group also noted the virus’ reproduction rate in the country, or the number of people infected by a single patient, stood at 0.80 over the past week. In NCR, it was at 0.54.
During the same monitoring period, the 7-day average of daily new cases nationwide fell by 11% compared to the previous week, OCTA added.
Herd immunity hoped by November
Meawnhile, the government is eyeing to vaccinate 100,000 to 200,000 people per day when the vaccine supply becomes stable to achieve herd immunity by November in Metro Manila and eight other areas identified as “focus areas,” Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said on Wednesday.
“We are looking at 100,000 per day and we can go as high as [200,000]. We are targeting three to four million next month…when the supply is steady,” Cabotaje told CNN Philippines’ The Source when asked how the herd immunity can be reached in the so-called focus areas.
Cabotaje, who is also chairperson of the National Vaccination Operations Center, said a stable supply translates to 10 million doses per month.
The government is aiming to “achieve herd immunity by November 27, 2021” in the National Capital Region along with Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Pampanga, Batangas, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao, according to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr.
Malacañang has said these areas are considered COVID-19 hotspots, so they will be given the bulk of the incoming vaccine supply.
The Philippines has so far received 7.7 million doses of Pfizer, Sinovac, AstraZeneca, and Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, of which 3.1 million have been administered nationwide, Galvez said on Monday.
Cabotaje said 500,000 more Sinovac doses will arrive on Thursday (May 20), adding that about 10 million doses are expected to be delivered in June.