By Ellayn De Vera-Ruiz
The Malacañang has taken into consideration the University of the Philippines’ (UP) experts projections of coronavirus cases in the government’s decision to maintain a general community quarantine (GCQ) status in Metro Manila until June 30.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in an interview on Unang Hirit on Tuesday said the UP experts’ projections have more or less became true in its recent studies.
“Unang-una, bahagyang nasunod ang rekomendasyon ng UP dahil hindi tayo nag-MGCQ (modified general community quarantine). At first, the UP’s recommendation was partially complied with because we did not have MGCQ),” Roque said.
“Sila (UP experts) po yung nagbigay ng warning na pag tayo ay patuloy pang nagluwag ay baka umabot sa 40,000 (COVID-19 cases by end of June). (They warned that if we continued to relax we could reach 40,000 cases),” he added.
But Roque is hoping that the projections of 40,000 cases by the end of June can be mitigated with the same level of restrictions that will be continuously imposed in Metro Manila.
“Inaasahan po natin ngayon na dahil nasa GCQ pa rin tayo at magkakaroon ng localized lockdown ay hindi naman aabot sa 40,000. (We now expect that since we are still in the GCQ and will have localized lockdown, we will not reach the 40,000 cases,” Roque said.
As of June 14, the Department of Health (DOH) has already reported 26,420 cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines.
In a study released last week by UP professors Guido David and Ranjit Singh Rye with research associate Ma. Patricia Agbulos, they projected a total of 40,000 cases and a total 1,850 deaths by June 30. This is assuming that the current reproduction number for the Philippines of 1.2 and current trends continue.
The study has also pointed out that around 60 percent of all active COVID-19 cases are in Metro Manila, which is still at medium-to-high risk for virus transmission.
However, the UP experts cited that there still exists a significant backlog of 6,359 unvalidated cases and 1,855 uncategorized cases in the DOH COVID-19 database, as of June 8.
As of June 14, the DOH database showed a total of 33,091 cumulative positive individuals.