The government should consider extending coronavirus disease (COVID-19) interventions for another two weeks to help in the significant reduction of cases in the country, the OCTA Research Team said on Wednesday, March 17.
“Realistically, ‘yung two weeks, speaking objectively, baka kulangin ‘yun (may be short). On the safe side, syempre titingnan muna natin ano ‘yung datos. This week naman baka makita natin kung may slowing down effect. (Of course we will first look at the data to see if there is a slowing down effect this week),” OCTA research chief Dr. Guido David said in a Teleradyo interview.
“Kailangan pag-isipan mabuti ng gobyerno kasi kahit mapabagal natin umabot tayo sa 8,000 to 9,000 (cases daily) marami pa rin ‘yan. Mao-overwhelm pa rin ang healthcare professionals natin, mapupuno pa rin ang hospitals natin sa ganyang kalagayan. (The government needs to think about it carefully because even if cases will decrease to 8,000 to 9,000 cases daily, that is still a lot. Our healthcare professionals will still be overwhelmed, our hospitals will still be filled in that situation),” David added.
He explained that the interventions to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases may help slow down the spread of infections.
“Inaasahan natin na may konting pagbagal sa pagdami ng kaso dahil may inimplement na interventions katulad ng curfew, ‘yung iba may liquor ban, localized lockdown. (We expect a slight downtrend in the number of cases because interventions such as curfews, liquor bans, and localized lockdowns are now being implemented),” David said.
“Within this week baka makita na natin ang pagbagal pero base sa historical numbers hindi natin makikita na bababa ‘yung bilang ng kaso sa mga interventions na ‘to. Mapapabagal ‘yung pagdami pero dadami pa rin. (Within this week, we may see a slowdown but based on historical numbers we will not see a decrease in the number of cases with the interventions. The increase in cases may slow down but it will still rise),” he added.
From OCTA’s projection of 10,000 to 11,000 daily cases nationwide by the end of March, David said the COVID-19 measures may help bring it down to 8,000 to 9,000 cases per day.
“Kung ngayon nag-aaverage tayo ng 5,000, more or less, cases hindi pa ‘yan mapapababa kunyari 4,000 or 3,000 per day kasi hindi ganun kabilis ang epekto ng interventions. (If we are now averaging 5,000, more or less, cases, that may not be immediately reduced to 4,000 or 3,000 cases per day because the effect of the interventions will not be that fast), he explained.
David said that if the number of cases do not slow down significantly, interventions may still be inadequate.
“Hindi kami magko-call sa government na gawin nila ‘yan (lockdown) pero kailangan tignan nila kasi kung hindi bumababa ano pa ‘yung pwede natin gawin like mag-localize lockdown na tayo, curfew na tayo, pinagbawal na ‘yung minors. (We will not call on the government to implement a lockdown but they need to study the situation. If it does not go down, we have to think what else can we do like implement localized lockdowns, curfew, and banning minors outside),” he pointed out.
“Malaking factor diyan, makikita natin sa lalabas na datos kung bumaba ang reproduction number. Kunyari nasa 2 ngayon ang reproduction number (tignan natin) kung bumaba siya sa 1.8. (One of the big factors here is if the new data shows the reproduction number going down. The reproduction number now is 2, but we’ll see if it will drop to 1.8),” he added.