Press Release

Palace, health expert note decline in COVID-19 reproduction number in Metro Manila


The reproduction number, or R naught, which is the number of individuals that can get infected once exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual, has been declining in the past few days.

“Mula 1.3648 noong August 12 ito ay naging 0.8555 noong Setyembre 13…bahagya din pong bumaba ang ating positivity rate,” said Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr. in a press briefing on September 27, 2021, citing report from the Department of Health (DOH) on the National Capital Region’s (NCR) R naught.

In the said press briefing DOH Epidemiology Bureau Director Dr. Alethea de Guzman said while there is a slowdown in growth rates and reproduction number, she reminded there is still a large number of the population being affected.

De Guzman added that in interpreting the decline in the number of cases, one should also take into account that laboratory output also declined by around 10 percent in the past week. For the NCR, Dr. De Guzman said this means a decrease in the testing output, from around 285,000 to 248,000.

Secretary Roque said that while R naught and positivity rate are declining, the number of people getting vaccinated are increasing. “Ibig sabihin, mas maraming trabaho ang mabubuksan, mas marami ang magbabalik-buhay para sa hanap-buhay,” said Sec Roque.

On COVID-19’s impact on businesses, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez mentioned that in terms of the percentage of businesses or companies that were closed because of the pandemic, the percentage decreased from 40 percent last year to only around 4 percent before the most recent imposition of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).

The DTI chief said that the latest ECQ and MECQ caused another increase in the percentage of closed businesses at 16 percent in the NCR during ECQ, which again declined at 11.7 percent after MECQ and now while at Alert Level 4. On the other hand, the percentage of closed businesses outside the NCR is now at 7 percent, said Lopez.

Meanwhile, on update to the country’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, Roque said that the total vaccines administered nationwide is now at nearly 44 million or 43,933,886 doses as of the September 26 data from the National COVID-19 Dashboard. Of this number, 20,307,122 individuals are fully vaccinated.

On the other hand, a total of 15,396,718 vaccine doses have been administered in the NCR, of which 7,025,358 individuals are fully vaccinated, or 71.86 percent of the target eligible population for vaccination.

“Malapit na pong marating ang population protection na 80 percent. At kapag nangyari po [ito], hindi lang po magiging masaya ang ating Pasko, magbabalik-buhay din po tayo. Dahil sa bakuna, mas maraming hanap-buhay, mas maraming trabaho,” Roque remarked.

While the number of vaccinated individuals continue to increase, the country also continues to have a stable supply of COVID-19 vaccines. Roque mentioned that some three million doses of the Sinovac vaccine were delivered yesterday, September 26.

These new deliveries of Sinovac vaccines will be deployed in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4-A, 6, 7, 9, and 11, while the doses that will be deployed in the NCR will be used for the second dose of those who already received their first dose of the vaccine. ### OPS