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NCR COVID-19 cases may peak 1,500-2,000 per day in July, Duque cites study

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Wednesday floated the possibility that the COVID-19 infections in the National Capital Region (NCR) may reach as high as 2,000 by the middle or end of July.

In a Super Radyo dzBB interview, Duque was asked about the DOH’s projections on COVID-19 cases if the rise in infection continues in the coming weeks.

“Meron tayong pinakikinggan na mga third-party na mga projections na mga outfits kagaya ng AuTuMN o Australian Tuberculosis [Modelling] Network na isinama din nila ang pagbabantay ng COVID dito sa Pilipinas at sinasabi nila na by the end of June or mga first week of July, ang kaso sa NCR will be anywhere from 800 to 1,200 a day,” he said.

“Pwedeng mag-peak ‘yan sa NCR ng 1,500 to 2,000. But after that peak some time in July, siguro by mid-July or end of July, babalik ‘yan, magpa-plateau na ‘yan doon sa 800 to about 1,200,” he added.

(We also monitor third-party outfits for their projections such as AuTuMN, which included COVID surveillance here in the Philippines. They said that the cases in NCR may reach 800 to 1,200 a day by the end of June or the first week of July. That could peak at 1,500 to 2,000 some time maybe by mid-July or end of July. But after that peak, it may plateau at 800 to 1,200 cases per day.)

OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said Tuesday that NCR’s growth rate of COVID-19 cases has further increased to 72%, but its hospital utilization rate remains “low” at 22%.

The increase in hospital admissions in four areas in NCR, one in Calabarzon, and one in Northern Mindanao due to COVID-19 are, however, being monitored by the Department of Health (DOH).

Meanwhile, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Monday also said more COVID-19 cases are expected to be recorded in the coming weeks as the country is now seeing another “peak” of infections that may be attributed to the entry of the more transmissible Omicron sub variants, the increased mobility in the country, and the waning immunity of the vaccinated population.

The Philippines has logged 32 new cases of the more transmissible Omicron subvariant BA.5, bringing the total to 43, according to the DOH Wednesday.

Vergeire said 21 were from Western Visayas, four from Calabarzon, four from the National Capital Region, and three from Central Luzon.

The number of confirmed active cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines increased to 4,860 on Tuesday, the highest tally reported since May 3, 2022.

According to the DOH's latest bulletin, 409 new coronavirus cases were also reported on Tuesday, increasing the total nationwide caseload to 3,697,200.

Recoveries rose by 278 to 3,631,864, while the death toll rose by nine to at 60,476. —AOL/KG, GMA News