University of the Philippines professor and OCTA Research Team fellow Dr. Guido David said the Philippines has flattened the curve of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In an interview over DZBB on Sunday, David noted that the country’s COVID-19 reproductive number has lowered to around 0.95 from 0.99 last week.
“Tinitingnan natin yung reproduction number in the NCR (National Capital Region) and different locations. So now, less than one yung reproduction number. Yung average natin sa Philippines, flattened na [yung curve]. Sa NCR, sa CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas Rizal, and Quezon), flattened na siya, yung reproductive rate 0.95 so pababa na siya (We are looking at the reproduction number in the NCR and different locations. Now, we are seeing less reproduction number. Our curve has already flattened in the NCR and CALABARZON. The current reproductive rate is around 0.95),” David said.
“Hindi ibig sabihin flattened yung curve, wala nang COVID cases, mayroon pa. Ang nangyayari pag flattened yung curve, nagde-decrease yung cases natin (Flattening the curve doesn’t mean we no longer have COVID-19 cases. We still have cases. Flattening the curve means our cases are decreasing),” he added.
David warned Filipinos not to be too complacent as trends are subject to change and can be reversed “at any time.”
“We have to sustain this trend. Ibig sabihin, kailangan gawin pa rin natin yung ginagawa natin the past few weeks, same thing for the next month, for the next two months kasi pwede pa rin tumaas yung bilang ng kaso anytime na magpabaya tayo (we need to continue what we’re doing for the past few weeks because cases can surge again any time),” he said.
Aside from the virus’ reproductive rate, David said the positivity rate is likewise going down from 19 percent to the current 12 percent.
“Ibig sabihin, kahit marami ang i-test natin, konti na lang nagpo-positive. Magandang indication yan. Sinu-support nyan yung flattening of the curve. Pati rin yung hospital utilization, bumababa na rin although nasa critical level pa rin, pero at least kung kumokonti na yung cases, mas hindi na mao-overburden yung health facility natin (It means that even if we are testing more people, only a very few are testing positive. It’s a good indication. It supports the flattening of the curve. Another thing is the decreasing hospital utilization, although hospitals are still in critical level, with the decreasing COVID-19 cases, it would mean that this would prevent an overburden to our health facilities),” David added.
He cited stringent health protocols like the wearing of face masks and face shields, personal hygiene, observing social distancing, and increased testing played a vital role in helping the country flatten its COVID-19 curve.
“Habang nandito na tayo at pababa na yung trend, i-continue na natin. May light at the end of the tunnel na tayo. Kung mga two to three months mapababa na natin ito a very manageable level, pwedeng fully opened na tayo sa pasko (Let’s continue the trend while we’re here. We’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel. If we can sustain this for two to three months, we can fully open [our economy] for Christmas),” David said.
The Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday logged 23,074 new recovered cases, raising the number of patients who have recovered to 184,687.
Meanwhile, the DOH recorded 2,839 new infections, raising the total number of cases in the country to 237,365.