The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Metro Manila could be less than 2,000 cases daily by the end of May if the reproduction number will be sustained at below 0.8, OCTA Research fellow Prof. Ranjit Rye said on Monday, May 3.
Metro Manila’s reproduction number is presently at 0.83 from 2 during the peak of the surge in March 2021.
“Our projections from OCTA tell us if we work hard and work together, we should be getting some 2,800 cases from May 9-15 with this R (reproduction number),” Rye said in a CNN interview.
“By end of May, we might most likely have less than 2,000 (daily cases), nearing the numbers we had before we had this terrible, terrible surge,” he added.
Metro Manila records a daily average of 3,144 cases at present, down from 5,500 cases in March.
However, Rye pointed out that the country, particularly the National Capital Region (NCR), still has a long way to go.
“I would like to emphasize, it is going down slowly and it will go slowly from now on because we have opened up a significant portion of the economy. But it is voluntary, the R is between 0.8 and 0.9 and we need to stabilize it. We need to make this MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) work this week to knock it down to below 0.8. We need to sustain that so we can have not just less cases but also less pressurized, less overwhelmed hospitals,” Rye said.
The hospital capacity is already improving at 56 percent in the NCR but the intensive care unit (ICU) beds are still filled up, he added.
“It’s taking time because it’s a huge number, a base number that is very high when we started, 11,000 just a month ago for the whole country, over 5,000 for the NCR. It will take time for us to heal because the incubation period for COVID-19 is around two weeks and it’s taking on the average 14 to 21 days for people to heal,” he explained.
“If we work on testing, tracing, isolation, expanding treatment, if we strengthen not just maximize resources but also improve coordination, collaboration between private sectors, civil society, and local and national government we should be down by the first week of June to nearing the levels we had, or a little over a thousand cases,” he said.
He also reminded the public to “take extreme precaution” by continuously observing the minimum public health standards
“People who go to indoor spaces and will need to take their masks off are taking a risk at this point, we still have more than 3,000 cases. While the trend is going down, it’s excellent, for us it is quite reversible. The trends could change very quickly if people become complacent and overconfident again,” he said.
“We are still optimistic, if we work together, we follow the minimum public health standards, we can sustain this downward trend,” he added.