Malacañang said Tuesday that the government considered the projection of experts from the University of the Philippines that the number of coronavirus infections in the country would reach 40,000 if there is no general community quarantine (GCQ) extension in Metro Manila.
In an interview with Unang Hirit on Tuesday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque admitted the UP researchers’ projection seems to be “more or less” happening. He added that the government took into consideration the team’s recommendation when it decided to keep Metro Manila under GCQ until June 30.
“Unang-una, bahagyang nasunod ang rekomendasyon ng UP dahil hindi tayo nag-MGCQ (modified general community quarantine),” Roque said.
(Firstly, the recommendation of UP was slightly followed because we did not transition to MGCQ.)
“Sila (UP experts) po yung nagbigay ng warning na pag tayo ay patuloy pang nagluwag ay baka umabot sa 40,000 [ang COVID-19 cases],” he said.
(The UP experts gave the warning that if we would ease the quarantine restrictions further, we could have 40,000 COVID-19 cases.)
“Inaasahan po natin ngayon na dahil nasa GCQ pa rin tayo at magkakaroon ng localized lockdown ay hindi naman aabot sa 40,000,” he added.
(We expect that now that we are still under GCQ and we would have localized lockdown, we would not reach 40,000.)
Last week, Institute of Mathematics Assistant Professor Guido David and Department of Political Science Assistant Professor Ranjit Singh Rye from UP projected that the total number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines would reach 40,000 by June 30.
The same group also projected early May that premature lifting of enhanced community quarantine after May 15 would result in a spike in COVID-19 cases up to 24,000.
President Rodrigo Duterte, on Monday night, announced the extension of GCQ in Metro Manila and other high-risk areas.
Local government units, however, are authorized to implement localized lockdowns in areas — whether barangay, sitio, subdivision, or even building — where there is a spike in COVID-19 cases.
“So ang inaasahan natin, dahil mas agresibo na tayo mag-lockdown ng building, zona, subdivision, o barangay na may tumataas na COVID cases, ay inaasahan po natin ang hindi pagsipa ng sakit, hindi tayo aabot sa 40,000 bagama’t ang modeling po ng UP ay more or less nangyayari nga,” Roque said.