150k COVID-19 cases by end of August – UP projection

The University of the Philippines (UP) said Friday the COVID-19 cases projection in the country is 150,000 by the end of August.

Professor Ranjit Rye of the UP OCTA research team said an interview on Dobol B sa News TV the showed the “exponential growth” the experts previously discussed.

As of July 30, the country has logged more than 89,000 COVID-19 cased. Of this number, some 22,000 are active cases, while around 65,000 recovered, and nearly 2,000 died.

The UP research team recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte to either maintain general community quarantine (with localized lockdowns, isolation, and contact tracing) o revert back to the modified enhanced community quarantine.

Metro Manila, Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Minglanilla and Consolacion towns in Cebu province, and Zamboanga City will be under GCQ until mid-August.

The rest of the country will be under modified GCQ.

Although Metro Manila’s reproduction rate (number of people an infected person could pass the virus to) lowered from 1.75 to between 1.3 and 1.4, Rye said it is still high.

“Mataas pa rin po kasi siya…[dapat] below one (it’s still high, it should be below one),” he said in the radio interview.

Professor Guido David, who is also part of the OCTA research team, said the virus’ reproduction number in Cebu decreased to 0.8 or 0.9.

He added Cebu already flattened the curve, but this should not be an excuse to disregard health protocols.

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Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Tuesday the public should not be alarmed at the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines since the death toll remained low.

“Hindi naman po dapat ikabahala ng tuluyan itong numerong ito… dahil kakaunti lang po ang nagkakasakit ng severe or accute,” Roque said in his regular televised briefing Tuesday.

(We should not be alarmed by these numbers because there are very few severe or acute cases.)

However, doctors say the front line situation is worse than the first months of the pandemic.

“‘Yung mga sinasabi sa news na numbers, technically ‘yung iba do’n totoo pero you can’t handpick the data and make it appear na okay tayo,” Dr. John Besa of the Philippine General Hospital said.

(What the news says are numbers, technically some of them are true, but you can’t handpick the data and make it appear that we are okay.)