Palace hopeful on flattening of the curve as UP researchers predicted

Published August 24, 2020, 5:12 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Malacañang is hopeful that the University of the Philippines (UP) researchers’ projection about the possible flattening of the coronavirus  curve by the end of the month or next month will come true.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the government will continue to monitor the coronavirus cases if it will slow down in the coming days. 

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr.

“Sana nga po mangyari iyon dahil ang inaantay lang natin pagdating ng katapusan ng buwan na ito eh kung mas mababa po iyong mare-record na kaso kung ikukumpara natin doon sa naging forecast ng UP study group (We hope it will happen because we are waiting for the end of the month if the cases will declined compared to the forecast of the UP study group),” Roque said during a Palace press briefing Monday.

“Kung hindi po ako nagkakamali parang 250,000 yata ang kanilang forecast so tingnan po natin (If I’m not mistaken they forecast 250,000 cases so let’s see) We will reserve whether or not we will congratulate the Filipino people anew or better luck next time,” he said.

A member of the UP Octa Research Team earlier disclosed that the public may see the start of flattening the coronavirus curve by end of August or September due to the downward trend in infections.

Dr. Guido David of the UP research group noted that the case reproduction rate declined to 1.1 from 1.5 following the two-week strict lockdown imposed in Metro Manila and four nearby provinces. 

David, in an interview over DZMM Teleradyo, however, said it could take one to two months before the caseload attains a manageable level. He stressed that there was no room for complacency, citing the need to sustain efforts to contain the outbreak.

The UP researchers earlier projected 250,000 cases of COVID-19 if there was no modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces. The case projection may be reduced further to 220,000 after the lockdown implemented in the past two weeks, the group said.

President Duterte earlier agreed to place Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal under MECQ from August 4 to 18 after a timeout appeal from the medical community. These places have since reverted to general community quarantine until the end of the month.

As of August 24, the country has recorded 194,252 cases with 3,010 deaths.

The country is largely under a relaxed community quarantine as the government moved to jumpstart the stalled economy and revive livelihood of the people. The government at the same time ramped up its health strategy, including testing, tracing and treatment, to contain the outbreak while waiting for the vaccine being developed by several countries.