A study done by researchers at the University of Santo Tomas showed that the coronavirus pandemic has been “relatively subdued and controlled” in the Philippine capital even after the implementation of more relaxed quarantine measures on June 1.
The UST study looked at the “positivity rate” of COVID-19 tests, or the percentage of total tests of positive cases and the rate of hospitalization of infected cases, to see if there was a surge.
“[T]he positivity rate for Metro Manila has fallen from a high of around 30% at the beginning of April to just around 5% in early June,” read the report authored by Father Nicanor Austriaco, O.P., Associate Professor Bernhard Egwolf and Angus White.
“We believe that this indicates that community spread remains low despite the apparent spike in cases reported at the beginning of June,” read the report posted on the UST website.
The report noted that the numbers of total beds available for COVID-19 patients “remained steady” in Metro Manila, adding that the percentage of both occupied total beds and occupied ICU beds for COVID-19 patients “has gradually decreased over the past month.”
“Once again, we believe that this indicates that community spread remains low in Metro Manila despite the apparent spike in cases reported at the beginning of June,” added the report.
The authors of the report called on authorities to continue to impose targeted lockdowns by zones to quarantine affected buildings, streets, and villages that have elevated numbers of COVID-19 positive patients.
“This strategy of focused lockdowns should be coupled with extensive testing and tracking of contacts within these ‘high-risk’ red zones to break chains of viral transmission,” said the report.