The Philippines is now a “low-risk” area after the rapid growth rate of the virus and the average daily attack rate slowed down, the Epidemiology Department of the Department of Health declared.    

Dr. Alethea De Guzman, OIC of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, said the country recorded a -9 percent growth rate in cases over the last two weeks.

For this reason, international credit analyst Moody’s Group changed its outlook for the Philippine economy from negative to positive and said the country could achieve economic recovery ahead of its neighboring countries in Southeast Asia.   

Moody’s Analytics, research arm of Moody’s Group, said the resurgence in Covid-19 cases in Southeast Asian countries “keeps denting” the region’s path to recovery.  But Moody’s economist Katrina Ell said the Philippines bucks that trend as the country saw a decline of fresh cases in recent weeks.

Ell said: “Spikes in Covid-19 infections in Indonesia and Malaysia are taking wind out of the expectation that economic recoveries there will gather steam into 2022. Meanwhile, the outlook for the Philippines has improved as the pace of new coronavirus cases has declined.” 

In June this year, Moody’s Analytics tagged the Philippine economy’s situation as “worrisome” as the country battles the resurgence of the virus, particularly in key areas of the National Capital Region (NCR) and surrounding cities.

“The outlook for the Philippines has improved. The country has seen a decline in daily new infections after breaking records in the region earlier this year. New cases fell from a peak of more than 11,000 daily to half that level now,” Ell said.

On July 5, the DOH said the total number of cases in the country reached 1,441,746 after 5,392 new cases were confirmed during the day.

The average daily attack rate (ADAR) was at 5.42, lower than the 5.96 reported three to four weeks ago. ADAR is the number of cases in an area over a two-week period, divided by the population there.

“The risk classification nationally is already at low risk,” De Guzman said.

The country averaged 5,772 daily cases from June 24 to 30, slightly higher than 5,638 daily infections from June 17 to 23.

According to De Guzman, the Department flagged four regions as high-risk areas after showing case increases. These were Davao region, Western Visayas, SOCCSKSARGEN, and Eastern Visayas.

The Health official said the case trend in the capital region was plateauing after a slow decline in the past weeks.

“We often describe the trend of NCR as fragile. This is a crucial time for NCR because we don’t want it going up again,” De Guzman said.

In Luzon, all regions were exhibiting a decline in cases, except for Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos region, and MIMAROPA.

COVID-19 cases in Eastern Visayas continued to rise, while infections in Western Visayas saw slight increase. Cases in Central Visayas were plateauing.

In Mindanao, all regions had a downward trend in cases, save for Davao region, which was showing an inconsistent trend.

Metro Manila and its surrounding areas will remain under general community quarantine until July 15, while 21 areas were placed modified enhanced community quarantine.

The Philippines has so far reported 1.4 million COVID-19, including 24,662 deaths. Of the total, 3.4 percent were active cases.