Filtered By: Topstories

20,000 new COVID-19 cases a day possible by April if surge not contained —OCTA

The independent research group crunching the numbers on COVID-19 cases in the Philippines said that daily new infections could reach 20,000 by April, according to a report on “24 Oras Weekend.”

Dr. Guido David of the OCTA Research team said the new projection was based on the country’s current reproduction number of 1.9.

A reproduction number of one or higher is an indication of the continuous transmission of the virus.

However, David added, this could be prevented if the national government and local government units continue to implement minimum health protocols, localized lockdowns, and curfew hours.

“Possible ‘yan pero binase natin sa current reproduction number ng mga 1.9 so ibig sabihin kung hindi pa natin mapabagal ang pagtaas ng bilang ng kaso, ‘yan ang puwede nating maabot na numero per day ‘yan,” David said.

[It’s possible (to reach 20,000 cases per day) but it was based on our current reproduction number of 1.9. If we can’t control the surge in cases, we can reach 20,000 per day.]

“I mean, hypothetical lang naman ‘yan pero most likely hindi naman aabutin kasi at some point ay papasok na ang national government at local governments,” he added.

(I mean, it’s hypothetical, but most likely, we will not reach that point because the national government and local governments will do something about it.)

On Sunday, the country recorded 4,899 new COVID-19 infections bringing the total tally to 621,498.

The OCTA team, composed of experts from the University of the Philippines, as well as contributors from the University of Santo Tomas and Providence College in Rhode Island, US, earlier said that the daily new cases of COVID-19 in the country may reach 7,000 by the end of March. 

The research team also said 12 Metro Manila cities were among the top 15 areas with a “significant” upward trend in the number of new COVID-19 cases.

The team said Quezon City, Manila, Pasay, Makati, Parañaque, Taguig, Caloocan, Pasig, Malabon, Valenzuela, Marikina, and Navotas have been reporting a higher number of new COVID-19 cases.

Completing the list were the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu in Cebu province. However, Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu were considered “exceptions” as they both recorded a downtrend in new cases.

Metro Manila mayors earlier agreed to implement a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew starting Monday, March 15, in a bid to curb the spike in cases.

Vaccine roll-out

The Philippines began its COVID-19 vaccination program on March 1 after the arrival of 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines, which was followed by 487,000 doses of vaccines from AstraZeneca.

On March 7, another batch of 38,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines arrived in the country.

The COVID-19 vaccination program has so far covered 114,615 individuals as of last Thursday.

Officials defended the slow pace of vaccinations, saying that it will pick up once more vaccines arrive by the middle of the second quarter. Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez said the administration is confident of reaching its goal of 70 percent of the population vaccinated this year. — BM, GMA News