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UP experts see 40,000 COVID-19 cases by June 30

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The total number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the country may reach the 40,000 mark by June 30, according to experts from the University of the Philippines (UP).

In a forum on Thursday, Institute of Mathematics Assistant Professor Guido David and Department of Political Science Assistant Professor Ranjit Singh Rye presented data on the transmission of the virus.

“’Yung projection actually is nasa 40,000 cases by June,” David said, noting that the projection was based on the current trend of transmission.

He added that the prediction may change if the spread of the disease slows down.

The spread can be measured by the ratio of infection and recovery rate or the reproduction number (R0). If the R0 is greater than 1, it means the virus is spreading, but if lesser than 1, it means the curve is flattening.

Currently, the Philippine has a reproduction number of 1.2, according to David.

Based on the data, David said the National Capital Region (NCR) and Cebu are the “battlefields” of COVID-19. However, he said the R0 of NCR already dropped to lesser than one, indicating a flattening curve.

Rye recommended that the Department of Health should monitor the situation and take appropriate and timely response in Cebu, where the transmission of the virus is evident.

Aside from the government efforts, Rye highlighted the responsibility of the community in preventing the spread of COVID-19 through observing health measures.

“Nandiyan po ang COVID-19, buhay na buhay siya. Naghihintay nang may mahahawaan. Dapat maging maingat po tayo at maging maagap,” he said.

In early May, they also projected that a “premature relaxation” of enhanced community quarantine beyond May 15 may result in a spike in COVID-19 cases up to 24,000.

“Our data suggest that a premature relaxation of the ECQ in the NCR may result in an escalation of 24,000 cases and 1,700 deaths by June 15, 2020,” the professors said in their published “COVID-19 Forecasts in the Philippines: Sub-national models for NCR and other selected area.”

On Wednesday, June 10, the number of COVID-19 cases in the country was recorded at 23,732.

Rye said their latest report will be submitted to the Inter-Agency Task Force and will be published on Thursday.—AOL, GMA News

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