Vaccinate 10-M Metro Manilans to achieve “herd immunity”
The recent drop of the COVID-19 statistics in Metro Manila from March 29 until yesterday is indicative of the untiring and collective pandemic response by all 17 city/town mayors, and the united action of Metro Manila Mayors’ Council and MMDA .
Apart from handling the distribution of the “ayuda” to distressed people in their communities, the LGUs are now well coordinated at barangay level specifically on vaccine distribution among others.
After two weeks each of ECQ and MECQ, the numbers of virus cases are starting to drop. But still, it is highly important to know the latest number of active COVID-19 cases in your locality. Total Metro Manila active cases, according to the latest DOH Data Drop, were at 27,336 yesterday. Quezon City with its biggest land area and population leads with 5,574, followed by Manila (3,002), Caloocan (2,609), Pasig (2,548), Taguig (1,739), and Makati (1,694). Next group is Paranaque (1,652), Las Pinas (1,455), Valenzuela (1,436), Mandaluyong (1,362), Marikina (1,138), Pasay (849), Muntinlupa (817), Malabon (710), San Juan (630), and Navotas (319).
Daily new cases in NCR also sank from 5,551 in March 29 to last Monday’s 2,940 . According to experts, they expect this decline to be as low as 2,000 cases before MECQ ends on May 14. From the beginning of the surge on March 29, the decline has been at least 43 percent. And of course, we must attribute this feat to all the NCR mayors.
Also, the virus’ reproduction number (Rn), which zoomed to more than 2.0 in March, is now down to only 0.83. Experts predict this will stabilize between 0.85 to 0.90. This rate is definitely better than the stable average of 1.0 that prevailed from November 2020 thru February 2021 before this latest surge.
These are good news, but we must still be careful due to still high attack rates (per 100,000 population) in Metro Manila cities. Highest is San Juan with 51.15 percent, Mandaluyong (41.06), Taguig (35.11), Pasig (35.06), and Pateros (29.41). This is followed by Makati (27.68 percent), Las Piñas (25.83), Marikina (24.22), Valenzuela (23.31), Quezon City (21.00), Pasay (20.13), Malabon (16.33), Muntinlupa (16.27), Caloocan (16.08), and Navotas (12.36).
While still early, I again would commend overall the Metro Manila Council led by Paranaque mayor Edwin Olivares and MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos for a great start in fighting COVID-19 in the grassroots level.
Barring super-spreader events from occasionally stubborn groups and certain personalities, we are well on the way to a better and more relaxed GCQ in the next two weeks.
Of course, we still hope that the imported vaccine supplies will arrive in the next few months. And again, I would like to emphasize that in fighting this virus, “herd immunity” should first be achieved in Metro Manila including Cavite, Rizal, Laguna and Bulacan. This means it should be top priority for government to pool its efforts and vaccinate at least 70 percent of the total 14,158,573 (2021) NCR residents or at least 9,911,001 persons and achieve “herd immunity”.
This also goes for the surrounding provinces in Calabarzon and Central Luzon. After all, more than 60 percent of new and active cases come from these areas. Last Thursday, government reported 1,880,975 vaccinated Filipinos nationwide, including health care workers, senior citizens and people with co-morbidities.
If herd immunity is concentrated and achieved in Metro Manila, I believe that all health and economic problems of the entire country will be directly addressed and finally solved.
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