Spike in new cases near NCR alarms UP experts

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    A NOTICEABLE rise in the number of new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in areas adjacent to the National Capital Region has alarmed the University of the Philippines (UP)-OCTA Research Group even as 3,544 new more cases were reported yesterday by the Department of Health.

    In a television interview, OCTA Research Fellow Prof. Guido David said they are seeing numerous emerging hotspots in the CALABARZON and Central Luzon areas.

    “We are seeing it in Cavite, Rizal, Batangas. In Central Luzon, we are seeing it in Bulacan, Bataan, Zambales, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija,” Guido said, noting the numbers coming from these areas are in contrast to the steadying numbers in Metro Manila.

    “Right now, NCR is holding out. The reproduction number is less than one. That is quite (an improvement) in numbers,” said Guido.

    In its latest bulletin, the DOH said of new cases, majority came from NCR (690) while Cavite had 305, Rizal 201, Negros Occidental 173, and Bulacan 98.

    Overall, the total number of COVID cases in the country rose to 269,407 while 34 more deaths were reported, raising the number of fatalities to 4,663.

    Majority of the new deaths were recorded in NCR with 13 while CALABARZON had 5, Cagayan Valley 3, and Central Visayas 3.

    There were 395 new recoveries, meaning the number of survivors has risen to 207,352.

    OCTA Research Fellow Fr. Nicanor Austriatico said the latest numbers mean that NCR and neighboring regions must maintain vigilance to slow down the surge in new cases.

    “The LGUs in these regions will have to double their efforts to make sure the numbers go down,” said Austriatico.

    Data from the DOH shows that as of September 14, having the most number of cases in the last 14 days are NCR with 13,243; CALABARZON with 7,020; and Central Luzon with 2,699.

    The Department of Foreign Affairs reported 15 new COVID-19 cases among overseas Filipinos but only one fatality, bringing the numbers in both categories to 10,329 in 76 countries and 773, respectively.

    The DFA also reported 17 new recoveries in Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East and African regions. The number of recoveries rose to 6, 571.

    The Middle East and African regions still have the highest number of cases and fatalities as well as recoveries with 7,025 cases, 492 deaths and 4 239 recoveries.

    The lone fatality Tuesday was recorded in the Middle East.

    In terms of deaths among overseas Filipinos due to the deadly virus, the Asia Pacific region registered the lowest with 8 followed by Europe with 95 while the Americas reported 178.

    In terms of cases, the Asia Pacific region is now behind the Middle East and Africa with 1,327 cases, followed by Europe with 1,172 and 805 in the Americas. – With Ashzel Hachero