OCTA Research fellow Guido David on January 31 said then “worst is over” in most parts of the country, saying COVID-19 infections, the latest driven by Omicron variant, have already peaked or peaking.

Speaking at Monday’s Pandesal Forum, David said they could imagine that the worst is probably over for most of the country.

“Most of Cebu is now seeing a downward trajectory, although Cebu City is actually more advanced in terms of the decrease.

The decrease is happening earlier in Cebu City compared to Mandaue but, nevertheless, we are seeing a decrease in Cebu (and) also in Davao City,” noted David.

However, he said, “We should still follow health protocols as we go out. There’s still a significant number of cases. We still have to self-isolate if we’re feeling symptoms, we have to wear face masks,” he said.

He said Bukidnon, Camiguin, Cotabato, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Davao Occidental, Davao Oriental, Maguindanao, Negros Oriental, Sarangani, South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat are still experiencing a “significant increase” in new cases.

He related that Mindanao is where most of the cases have increased.

“So, what happened is the surge happened later in these provinces that’s why they are still at an accelerating stage whereas the surge has already been, has already matured and (is) now on a downward trend in many other provinces, especially in Visayas and Luzon,” said the OCTA Fellow.

Meanwhile, he said in the National Capital Region (NCR), Cavite and Rizal may be at “low risk” for COVID-19 in the next two weeks.

“But again, it’s not yet at low risk because of the fairly high positivity rate but we’re hoping these will come down,” he added.

He also projected that the actual number of COVID-19 cases in the NCR could be 1.8 times higher than the report of the Department of Health (DOH).

David said his projection was based on the random antigen testing conducted by the Department of Transportation on January 26 and 27.

He said the random antigen tests conducted by Department of Transportation on 343 railway passengers on the said dates showed a positivity rate of 0.6 percent, less than one percent.

“Assuming that the NCR population of 14 million, then the margin of error is ±5% (with 95 percent confidence interval),” David said.

David also said COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila from January 20 to 29 were 46,000, which means “the actual number of cases, including asymptomatic and symptomatic cases not tested, and those tested with antigen but not reported, could be 1.8 times higher than the official numbers reported by DOH.”

He said the estimate is lower than his earlier evaluation that cases could be 10 times higher.

“This confirms that not only the number of new cases is decreasing but even the number of unreported cases is also decreasing at a significant rate,” he further said.

The Philippines on January 30 logged 16,953 new COVID-19 cases, driving the overall caseload to 3,545,680. Of the new Covid-19, 2,008 were recorded in the NCR.

Quezon City had the most number of new cases, followed by the cities of Manila and Makati.

On the other hand, Pateros registered the least number of new infections.

The following are the numbers of fresh COVID-19 cases per LGU in Metro Manila:
Quezon City – 391 new cases
City of Manila – 298 new cases
Makati City – 192 new cases
Parañaque City – 157 new cases
Pasig City – 147 new cases
Pasay City – 138 new cases
Las Piñas City – 117 new cases
Taguig City – 117 new cases
Caloocan City – 91 new cases
Muntinlupa City – 79 new cases
Valenzuela City – 73 new cases
Mandaluyong City – 67 new cases
Marikina City – 52 new cases
San Juan City – 35 new cases
Navotas City – 28 new cases
Malabon City – 19 new cases
Pateros – 4 new cases