Coronavirus cases in the Philippines may reach up to 530,000 by the end of January, a group of experts warned Monday.
In an interview over DZMM, OCTA Research Fellow Dr. Guido David noted an “upward trend” of coronavirus infections in the country.
“Last time we were under MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) nasa 4,000 cases a day tayo sa buong Philippines. Sa Metro Manila nasa 2,000 cases a day. Since then bumaba na yung from 2,000. Ngayon nasa 400 cases per day tayo (The last time we were under MECQ, we were averaging 4,000 cases daily. Metro Manila was averaging 2,000 cases daily. Since then, the number has dropped from 2,000 to 400 cases per day),” David said.
“Yung sinasabi ngang flattening the curve, totoo yun kasi malaki yung binaba natin from 2,000 to 400 over several months. Ngayon nagkaroon ng slight uptick sa Metro Manila nasa 400 to 500 cases per day pa rin naman tayo so medyo matagal pa tayo sa level ng MECQ (We have flattened the curve because there was a significant drop from 2,000 to 400 over several months. However, there’s a slight uptick in Metro Manila. We are now averaging 400 to 500 cases daily. It will take a long time before we reach MECQ level),” David added.
David also mentioned Cebu Province, Davao, Isabela, and Cordillera Administrative Region as areas of concern due to an increase of COVID-19 infections during the past week.
“Yung 4,000 [cases daily] possible na ma-reach [ulit] yan kung patuloy na tumaas yung kaso, nagkakaroon kasi sya ng increase sa ibang region (The 4,000 average cases daily is possible once the increase in virus cases in other regions continue),” he added.
David also underscored the importance of contact tracing after the United Kingdom COVID-19 variant was detected in the country.
“Importante yung contact tracing natin. Sa Quezon City yung contact tracing dun maraming na-prevent na secondary transmission dahil pag napigilan natin yung pagkalat sa primary contact, malaki yung mape-prevent sa pagkalat ng pandemic. Kailangan talaga dyan yung full cooperation ng mga tao (Contact tracing is important. In Quezon City, their contact tracing system was able to prevent secondary transmission and if we were able to contact trace the primary contact, we also prevent the spread of the virus. We really need the cooperation of the public),” he reiterated.
“Yung bagong variant na to concerning sya and sana naman maki-cooperate yung mga tao kasi kung hindi natin ma-contact trace, sila rin baka maging carrier sila. Hindi naman to makakasama sa kanila, in fact makakatulong to sa mga tao para sa pang manage ng pandemic, kailangan magtulungan tayo (This new variant is a cause for concern and I hope the people will cooperate because if we do not do contact tracing, a lot of people could become carriers. Contact tracing will not harm them. In fact this can help manage the pandemic),” David added.
The group projects an estimate of 525,000 to 530,000 total coronavirus cases in the Philippines by the end of January.
“Sa katapusan ng January nakikita natin mga 530,000. Pwede namang mas mababa. Mga 525,000 yung total number of cases. Pero kung bumilis pa ang pagkalat ng pandemic, pwedeng umabot ng [additional] 140,000 [cases] (By the end of January, we are projecting to see 530,000 cases or it could be lower. About 525,000. But if the virus spreads faster, we could see additional 140,000 cases),” he added.
David warns that the UK variant could result in a faster increase in infections if it becomes the dominant variant in the country.
On Sunday, COVID-19 cases in the Philippines breached the 500,000-mark.
The Department of Health reported 1,895 new infections, raising the country’s total confirmed COVID-19 cases to 500,577.