COVID-19 outbreak having ‘ripples’ in provinces outside Metro Manila, expert says


Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 17) — Experts worry about how the slowing down of new COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila is affecting provinces outside the capital region.

Professor Jomar Rabajante, a data analytics researcher from the University of the Philippines Pandemic Response Team, said cases in Metro Manila continue to increase although at a slower pace. He said the region now only accounts for 50% of the weekly cases compared to the previous 70%.

He said higher cases in the regions outside Metro Manila could pose a problem since provinces also have lower vaccination rates. This could mean more COVID-19 patients will experience severe symptoms that can end up overwhelming hospitals. He added this could be a big problem since there are generally fewer medical facilities and hospital beds in the provinces compared to Metro Manila.

“The outbreak now is having ripples in the provinces. This might be very critical because the healthcare capacity in the provinces is not high compared to NCR,” he told CNN Philippines.

OCTA Research fellow Guido David said several provinces located further away from the National Capital Region are starting to register an increase in new coronavirus infections.

“Cebu City and Tacloban in particular, 2 days ago they reported the highest number of cases in a single day. Definitely there is an increase happening in other parts of the country. This is definitely concerning. Possibly the Omicron has leaked to other provinces in the country,” he said.

(This article was first published in CNN Philippines on January 17, 2022 at 2:55 PM.)

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