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OCTA projects 2,500 daily COVID-19 cases in NCR by end-March

OCTA Research on Saturday projected that Metro Manila could see 2,500 or more daily COVID-19 cases if the spread of the novel coronavirus was not curbed in the region.

At the Laging Handa public briefing, Dr. Guido David of the OCTA Research Team dissociated Christmas and other holiday seasons from the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila.

"Hindi 'yung Christmas holiday, actually kahit 'yung Valentine's, hindi ia-attribute 'yan sa Valentine's kasi one day event lang naman 'yung Valentines. Pero ito, medyo sustained event eh so hindi rin natin puwedeng i-attribute sa Chinese New Year or sa other holiday," said David.

Rather, the rise of cases in Metro Manila was a "genuine increase," having a similar trajectory to that of Cebu City, Mountain Province, and Benguet.

"So this is actually very concerning. For the past two days we've been getting 900 cases per day sa Metro Manila. The last time we were getting 900 cases per day sa Metro Manila, October pa rin," he warned.

The reproduction number in Metro Manila was at 1.43, according to David.

"This is concerning kasi kung hindi natin mapipigilan ulit ang pagtaas ng kaso, 'yung ginawa naming projections a week or two ago, puwedeng masunod 'yung projections, it could mean we will have mga 2,500 more cases sa Metro Manila before the end of March."

David also said there was a possibility that a variant of COVID-19 was spreading in NCR.

"'Yung weight of spread masyadong mabilis eh. In fact it is faster than the weight of spread nu'ng pagkalat ng July. This is similar sa rate of infection na nakita natin sa Cebu City and sa Mountain Province."

The Philippines’ tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 571,327 on Friday after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 2,651 new infections as eight laboratories failed to submit data on time.

This is the highest number of COVID-19 infections reported in a single day for this year. — DVM, GMA News