An expert from the University of the Philippines (UP) said Wednesday the country should not fully reopen its economy even if it flattens the COVID-19 curve.
“We don’t necessarily recommend na fully reopening the economy because this is just the start of the recovery process, yung pag-flatten ng curve,” Dr. Guido David, member of UP OCTA Research Team said in a televised briefing.
“And hindi ibig sabihin pag sinabi natin nagfflatten na yung curve, irreversible siya. The trend can always reverse, we can always have another surge if we’re not careful; that’s why we should be careful,” David cautioned.
(When we flatten the curve, it does not mean that this is irreversible. The trend can always reverse, we can always have another surge if we’re not careful; that’s why we should be careful.)
David emphasized that the government should carefully evaluate the reopening of the economy so “past mistakes” would not happen again after several areas shifted to general community quarantine (GCQ).
“We learned from our past mistakes siguro nang una tayo nagkaroon ng GCQ, nagka-surge because there were things na hindi natin na-anticipate. Yung infectivity ng virus. So right now, I think we’re better prepared for that but we still have to be very very careful about not letting this get out of control,” David said.
Flattening the COVID-19 curve
David earlier said the Philippines could flatten the COVID-19 curve by the end of August or September after long months of community lockdowns.
He said the virus’ reproduction rate (the number of people infected by each person carrying the virus) decreased from 1.5 to 1.1 after the government placed Metro Manila and nearby provinces were placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) for two weeks.
A reproduction rate of below 1 means the virus spread begins to slow down.
However, David said that even after the Philippines flattened the COVID-19 curve, it would still take one or two more months before the number of infections would be “very manageable.”
As of August 25, the Philippines has 61,730 active COVID-19 cases, 3,038 deaths, and 132, 396 recoveries.