PH expected to log 11,000 daily COVID cases by end of March, says OCTA

Patients leaving an isolation facility in the Philippines. Photo: Department of Health/FB
Patients leaving an isolation facility in the Philippines. Photo: Department of Health/FB

The Philippines will log at least 11,000 new COVID-19 cases each day until the end of March based on the current reproduction number, a member of the independent OCTA Research group said today.

Dr. Guido David said that the country has a reproduction rate of 2.03, meaning at least two people are infected by one COVID-19 case. He said the dramatic increase in cases is caused by Filipinos’ increased mobility, their decreased compliance with health protocols, the new variants of the coronavirus, and mass gatherings.

“Right now, the numbers… have been upped to about 10,000 to 11,000 [daily new cases] by the end of this month, unfortunately,” Guido said in an interview with the news program Headstart. 

Read: Cops to practice ‘maximum tolerance’ in enforcing Metro Manila curfew

He added that the outbreak started in Pasay, Malabon, and Navotas, which then spread all over the National Capital Region (NCR).

“Most areas in NCR are now having an increase and many areas are nearing close to the levels that we saw last August,” he said.

“[But] the increase in cases is not just happening in NCR but it’s also happening in many areas in Calabarzon like Rizal and Cavite, parts of Bulacan. There’s also another uptick in Cebu City, so it was going down but we’re seeing a slight uptick,” he added.

A 10pm to 5am curfew has been reimposed in the NCR this week to control the surge of cases. Localized lockdowns were also imposed in some parts of Metro Manila, such as in Muntinlupa and Makati, where residents of some areas have been prohibited from leaving their homes for two weeks.

Guido said that based on their studies, a nationwide strict lockdown, similar to the one the Duterte government imposed last year, “will definitely control the spread” of the coronavirus, but added that they are not advocating for it due to its economic impact. He urged the public to go on a “personal” lockdown instead.

Read: Galvez urges Pinoys to stop being ‘brand-conscious’ as they continue to shun China vax

“We don’t have to have it done by the national or the local government. We can do it by ourselves. We can think of it as a vacation. This is not for everyone, of course,” he added.

Millions of Filipinos have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, which crushed countless businesses in the food, retail, and tourism industries.

The country has the second-highest number of COVID cases in Southeast Asia, with 626,893 recorded as of yesterday, including 12,837 deaths and 560,577 recoveries. The Duterte government has started its vaccination program, the last in the region to do so.

The government has borrowed millions of dollars to fund its vaccination program but only donated vials of Sinovac and AstraZeneca have arrived in the country.

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