As several areas remain under strict quarantine restrictions, the OCTA Research Team projected that the number of daily coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country will likely decrease by 50 percent in May.
OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said they are hoping to see a downward trend within one to two weeks but that does not mean that the virus has already been contained.
He said that Metro Manila may still average 4,000 to 5,000 daily cases and the country may register around 9,000 to 10,000 daily cases by the end of April.
“To reduce that to 50 percent, it will require about 30 days because that’s how we see it in the past, in our history. It means that by May we would be at around 5,000 to 6,000 cases per day and that will still be a lot but it will be a lot more controlled,” David said in an ANC interview on Tuesday, April 13.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 8,571 more COVID-19 cases in the country.
After a two-week implementation of enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal, also called the “NCR (National Capital Region)-plus” bubble, David said the reproduction number in NCR has decreased from 1.88 to 1.24.
“It is still greater than 1, but we have seen a negative growth rate…actually in the NCR we have seen a one-week negative growth rate. But a one-week negative growth rate does not guarantee a downward trend. It’s just that the past week compared to the previous weeks, the cases decreased by about 16 percent,” he said.
“We have also seen a downward trend in several cities in NCR, for example, Pasay, Mandaluyong, and Marikina. There has been a definite improvement but we’re not there yet,” he added.
David is hoping that the implementation of a less strict modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) will continue the decrease in reproduction number in NCR.
He noted that NCR’s average number of cases per day for the past seven days was lower at 4,800, as compared to the 5,300 cases during the previous week.
“It just gives us confidence that what we are doing is working. But it should not give us confidence that it already worked and it’s all finished and we just have to go back to our normal lives,” David said.
“It just means that we have a lot of work to do to continue this momentum to decrease the numbers even further because 5,000 cases per day in NCR is a lot of cases. If we continue to have 5,000 or 4,000 cases per day in the next few weeks, we will definitely not be going to see any relief in our hospital care system,” he added.