Experts see up to 30,000 COVID-19 cases by July 31 in Cebu without ECQ
CEBU CITY—A research team from two prominent universities projected 15,000 COVID-19 cases on the island of Cebu by July 31 if a strict lockdown, or enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), is kept in Cebu City but up to 30,000 cases if ECQ was lifted.
If quarantine measures were relaxed, the number of cases was likely to surge, according to a study by Octaresearch, a team of experts from the University of the Philippines and University of Sto. Tomas.
The study, a copy of which was obtained by Inquirer, detailed the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines with focus on the National Capital Region (NCR) and Cebu because of the high number of cases in these areas.
The group also noted that the number of COVID-19 cases in Cebu almost doubled starting on June 8 from 3,400 to 6,400 on June 25.
It said there was a decrease in the number of transmission after June 16 when Cebu City was placed under ECQ again.
Prior to the implementation of ECQ last June 16, the researchers noted an increase in the number of hospital admissions or visits. The increase in hospital admissions and visits slowed down at the start of Cebu City’s second EQQ.
The rate of hospital bed occupancy in the city was more than 70 percent, said the study. Intensive care unit occupancy has exceeded 60 percent, it said.
“This increase reveals that there is a genuine surge in community infection in Cebu City at this time that justifies the imposition of the stricter quarantine measures,” the researchers said.
“To this end, we recommend that the government review its national strategy to combat COVID-19 in the country,” the study said.
“The government must re-examine and re-calibrate its strategies to ensure that the transmission of Sars-Cov2 virus does not further increase beyond the capacity of the health care system to respond,” the researchers said.
They also said that the government should scale up the capacity of the health care system to deal with potential outbreaks alongside sufficient testing capacity.
They also noted the need for sufficient personal protective equipment for health care workers and those on the frontline of the fight against the pandemic.
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