The Philippines will likely reach about 25,000 daily new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by next week, OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said on Tuesday, Aug. 31.
After the country hit a record-high 22,366 cases on Monday, Aug. 30, David said that the number of infections may continue to slightly increase in the coming days.
“We could probably hit 25,000 [daily cases] possibly by next week. But as for the rest of this week, at least we will have several days wherein we will see fairly low numbers and that’s usually because of the weekend effect,” he said in a CNN interview.
Based on his short-term forecast, David said the country may record 12,000 to 14,000 cases on Tuesday.
“Today (Aug. 31), I’m counting on seeing maybe 12,000 to 14,000 cases, and then tomorrow (Sept. 1), around 15,000 before it spikes up again to around 19,000. This is a short-term forecast based on trends. But again, we are not ruling out the possibility that it could spike up again somewhere near 25,000 perhaps later this week or by next week,” he added.
David further noted that while the country is “managing the situation better” due to more available hospital and ICU beds, the healthcare situation is worse now than during the March-April surge.
“The number of hospital beds occupied now in NCR [National Capital Region] is higher than it was last April. And the number of ICU beds occupied now is 200 ICUs [beds] more, greater than what we saw last April. So we are seeing more ICU patients. We’re also seeing from the data that due to the Delta variant, the likelihood of an ICU case is twice as likely as compared to the previous variants,” he explained.
David also noted that Metro Manila is not the major contributor to the high number of COVID-19 cases in the country, as it only accounts for 25 percent of the total number of cases.
“It’s not entirely in NCR. In fact, NCR is only accounting for only about 25 percent of the number of cases. A lot of other regions are contributing to the increased numbers unlike in March to April where most of the cases were just from NCR Plus,” he said.
David reminded the public to continue to observe minimum health protocols.
“Although the cases are still rising and we will expect them to continue to rise, the decrease in reproduction number means that the growth rate has actually decreased. And even in the entire Philippines, the growth rate has also decreased. So there is an element of the effect of the lockdown but we’re not seeing the downward trend yet,” he said.
“Cases will still continue to increase a little further before it peaks and then we will see the downward trend,” he added.