OCTA projects 11K daily new COVID cases by end-March

The OCTA Research group said Tuesday the Philippines could record 11,000 new COVID-19 cases daily by the end of March due to an upward trend in infections.

According to Professor Guido David, the reproduction number in the country has increased to 2.03, meaning every patient could infect two other people.

“It’s now above 2, and what that means is we have to recalculate again the trends,” he told ANC. “Right now, the numbers… have been upped to about 10,000 to 11,000 [daily new cases] by the end of this month, unfortunately.”

The OCTA Research member said most areas in Metro Manila are experiencing a COVID-19 surge, but the trend has slowed down in Pasay, Malabon, and Navotas.

“Mostly in 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.

The group also projected COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) bed occupancy in Metro Manila will rise to 70% by the end of March.

“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,” David added.

OCTA projects 11,000 daily new COVID cases by end-March

The OCTA Research team also said the Philippines could record up to 20,000 new COVID-19 cases daily by April if the new surge of infections would not be controlled.

However, the projection could be prevented if the national and local government would continue to implement strict health protocols, localized lockdowns, and curfew hours.

“Any decrease in mobility will definitely help… We are 100% certain that a stricter lockdown will definitely control the spread of the much quicker,” David said.

However, the OCTA Research member acknowledged that not all Filipinos could stay at home because they need to work.

“We’re not necessarily advocating for a one-week strict lockdown… Based on scientific fact, yes, this would definitely have a bigger impact than the current protocols that are being implemented,” he said.

“We are calling for citizens to have a personal enhanced community quarantine. We don’t have to have it done by the national or the local government. We can do it by ourselves. This is not for everyone, of course,” he added.