The University of the Philippines COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team said an extension of the enhanced community quarantine may help control the further transmission of the novel coronavirus.
According to a Sunday report by Dano Tingcungco on "24 Oras Weekend," the UP COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team projected that, left on its own, the number of COVID-19 cases in the country could reach 600,000 to 1.4 million.
But due to the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine, the number of projected number of cases is expected to go down.
UP Executive Vice President Teodoro Herbosa Jr., however, said cases could rise steeply if the quarantine was lifted.
"Our sciences know you cannot release it yet because you will lose the gains because you saw in the graphs, there will be a peak. Uulit lang parang dineley lang 'yong pag-happen noong epidemic," Herbosa said.
The Luzon-wide quarantine took effect on March 17 and would end on April 13.
With this, the UP team recommended a "modified quarantine" instead.
"Still no schools, work and still staying at home most of the time but start to give more liberty sa people," Herbosa said.
"Puwede mong i-release 'yong quarantine noong iba na mild, wala masyadong transmission and continued quarantine in the area that you have identified," he added.
Herbosa also said maintaining social distance, avoiding mass gatherings, increasing protection and good personal hygiene and etiquette and increasing the detection and isolation of asymptomatic patients are great strategies to flatten the curve.
"Instead of a peak of many many cases, we do these public health measures to actually slope down the curve. It buys us time," he said.
Meanwhile, Herbosa lauded the government for its effort to separate the facilities of persons under investigation and persons under monitoring.
As of Sunday, the country has reported a total of 3,246 cases of COVID-19, including 152 fatalities and 64 recoveries. — Ma. Angelica Garcia/DVM/KG, GMA News