NATIONAL Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 medical adviser Dr. Ted Herbosa said the decline in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases as recorded by the Department of Health (DOH) recently does not indicate yet a possible downtrend.

“Mahirap magsabi na ito na nga ‘yung pababa. Although negative nga at bumababa because of the past two days, mabilis pa nga yung pagbaba, hindi pa rin tayo nagre-relax. We are still cautious,” he said in a television interview.

He said the Covid-19 cases trend is being assessed through the one-week average daily attack rate and growth rate.

For now, Herbosa said hospitals are still bracing for possible increase in Covid-19 admissions.

Earlier, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said despite the increase in Covid-19 cases in the country, the hospital utilization rate remains at low risk.

On Wednesday, January 19, the Department of Health (DOH) reported a total of 22,958 fresh Covid-19 cases, the first time in the week the daily tally went under 30,000.

In Metro Manila, the main contributor in the increase of cases in the country, 8,376 new cases were recorded.

The Octa research group said the last time the National Capital Region had less than 10,000 daily cases was exactly two weeks ago.

It said the reproduction number in the NCR decreased steeply to 1.79 from 4.24 last week, while the weekly growth rate became negative for the first time since December 24, 2021.

“The pattern is very similar to the South Africa experience of a rapid surge followed by a dramatic decrease in infections,” Octa fellow Dr. Guido David said in a statement on Wednesday.

“While this is (an) encouraging news, it must be emphasized that NCR remains at critical risk, as the average daily attack rate and the positivity rate are still above critical levels and that residents are advised not to be complacent and still comply strictly with minimum public health standards so as not to prolong the surge of infections,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)