THE independent Octa Research on Friday, September 16, 2022, reported the rising number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) indicators in the National Capital Region (NCR) nearly a month since the resumption of face-to-face classes in schools.In a televised public briefing, Octa Research fellow Guido David reported that they have observed increasing numbers in identified indicators of the Covid-19 trend.”We have observed increasing cases here in Metro Manila, although it is a slow rise in cases,” said David.Octa data shows that the positivity rate in the NCR rose to 14.5 percent (as of September 14) from 12.7 percent (September 7).Similarly, the reproduction number in the NCR was at 1.14 (September 12), from 1.03 (September 5).Octa data also showed that the one-week growth rate of new cases in the NCR was at 18 percent from -4 percent the previous week.David said it is projected that the uptick in Metro Manila case will continue in the coming weeks.”It is really possible that the increase will be sustained… It is even possible that we will reach the previous peak for this current wave,” said David.Despite this, he said the situation in Metro Manila is not expected to reach alarming rates.”We should not be alarmed since we are monitoring the Covid-19 hospital bed and ICU (intensive care unit) bed utilization rates,” said David.NCR healthcare utilization rate, according to Octa, increased from 36 percent, as of September 5, to 39 percent on September 14.The ICU bed occupancy also increased from 24 percent to 33 percent over the same time frame. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)