Scientist recommends lockdown extension; says PH needs 2-3 months to ‘flatten the curve’

A Filipino scientist recommended extension, citing the Philippines needs two to three to flatten the curve or lessen the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

Dr. Darwin Bandoy, Assistant Professor of the University of California, Davis, in an interview with ANC, said the pandemic cases in the Philippines could reach as high as 250,000 cases in a do-nothing situation.

“My model is a do-nothing scenario, meaning we don’t implement lockdown, the peak number of cases in my estimate is around 250,000, that includes the asymptomatics, but the approximate estimate is 1 to 3 percent of the 250,000 would be severe cases,” Bandoy said.

He, however, said that extending the could decrease the number of people getting infected by the virus.

“If we remove the enhanced community quarantine on April 13 and will resume to normal activity at April 14, the epidemic curve would rise again. So, based on these predictive models, I wouldn’t recommend removing it so it should be extended…”

Scientist recommends extension

The scientist also said the government must implement physical distancing procedures in public transportation, disinfections, mass testing, and an increase in the number of ventilators.

“If our severe cases went beyond that, it would be like Italy. We would be selecting who will die or not,” he said.

“My estimate is that to prevent the current trajectory, we need a few more weeks and months to reduce that so that we will not overburden our healthcare, which is already struggling as of the moment,” he added.

He also opposed the opening of schools as of the moment “because, based on several studies, opening schools would promote further spread of the disease.”

“The estimate would be around 2 to 3 months before we could really flatten the curve, but I’m still waiting for the current data,” he added.

The Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said Monday it is too early to forecast whether there would be enhanced community quarantine extension.

The Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine is scheduled to end by April 14. However, it is still uncertain whether it would be lifted or extended.

As of this writing, the has 2,311 COVID-19 cases, 96 deaths, and 50 recoveries.