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UP experts say COVID-19 curve flattening towards September, but warn trend is ‘reversible’

Experts from the University of the Philippines (UP) on Monday said the number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines is on the downward trend and approaching a flattened curve towards September, but warned against complacency.

Professor Ranjit Rye of the UP-OCTA Research team told GMA News Online that the government and the public should maintain its efforts to sustain the downward trend.

According to Rye, the downward trend cases is "reversible." The situation could worsen if the public and the government become complacent.

Rye pointed out that the "flattened curve" only puts the country in a good position to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

According to him, the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) implemented in Metro Manila and other high-risk areas has been effective in slowing down the spread of the coronavirus.

Rye added that it also benefited the healthcare system.

The R-naught (R0), which describes the reproduction of COVID-19 cases, dropped from 1.5 in end of July to 1.1 now in August, according to the experts. An R0 below 1 means a flattened curve.

For Rye, good management in National Capital Region, which has the most number of cases, directly impacts the overall COVID-19 situation in the country.

Interviewed on Dobol B sa News TV, Rye's colleague Dr. Guido David also noted that the number of COVID-19 cases country is already on the downward trend. However, he too also stressed that this could be reversed.

“Palapit na 'yung pag-flatten. Pero hindi naman ibig sabihin nag-flatten 'yung curve tapos na 'yung laban,” David said.

“May posibilidad na tumaas kapag nagpabaya tayo,” he added.

David noted that flattening the curve does not mean there will be no more new COVID-19 cases. He said it only means the number of COVID-19 cases is already declining.

The Department of Health reported 4,686 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total to 194,252, with 132,042 recoveries and 3,010 fatalities. — BM, GMA News