COVID-19 cases in PH may reach 85,000 with 2,000 deaths by end of July – study
MANILA, Philippines — The number of coronavirus disease cases could reach 85,000 with 2,000 deaths by the end of July if the reproduction number of the virus continues to increase, according to a recent study conducted by the University of the Philippines OCTA Research.
The findings of the group are in its July 16 Forecast Report No. 12, which is titled “COVID-19 Forecasts in the Philippines: NCR, Cebu and COVID-19 Hotposts as of July 10, 2020,” which was posted on its Facebook page.
The researchers made the projection based on its finding there was an average of 2,000 cases recorded by the Department of Health (DOH) daily in the Philippines as of July 10.
“As of the most current week, there is an average of 2,000 cases per day in the Philippines, an increase of almost 50% from the previous week,” read an excerpt from the study.
This also means the current reproduction number in the country is about 1.75 and increasing, the researchers said.
According to the group, the increase in mobility of the public during the general community quarantine (GCQ) was one of the factors in the increasing rate of COVID-19 infections.
If Metro Manila shifts to a more relaxed modified general community quarantine, there will be an increase in reproduction number, the study also stated.
In mid-July, the total count of coronavirus disease cases surpassed 61,000, which outpaced the projection of UP researchers that the Philippines will have 60,000 to 70,000 cases of COVID-19 by the end of the month.
[COVID-19 FORECASTS IN THE PHILIPPINES: NCR, CEBU and COVID-19 HOTSPOTS as of July 10, 2020*][July 16,…ADVERTISEMENT
The study also discovered that the rate of transmission in Cebu had decreased since it was placed under a strict enhanced community quarantine.
“The reproduction number Rt in Cebu has now decreased to 1.14 from more than 2 during MECQ. Cebu remains a hotspot with the high number of community transmissions, but it is on a downward trend due to effects of the community quarantine,” the researchers said.
Meanwhile, UP also feared that hospitals in Metro Manila would be “overwhelmed” with the “genuine surge” of infections in the region.
“The reproduction number Rt in NCR has increased to 1.75. Despite the mortality rates decreasing in NCR, there is a real danger that hospitals will become overwhelmed with this surge,” read the study.
According to the researchers, if the GCQ would be maintained remain in Metro Manila, it would lead to a record of 40,000 COVID-19 infections by the end of this month and more than 80,000 cases with 2,800 total deaths by end of August.
Returning Metro Manila’s status to a stricter quarantine, particularly the modified enhanced community quarantine, would help reduce the reproduction number of COVID-19 infections by end of July, the researchers said.
UP OCTA Research is an independent and interdisciplinary research group composed most of UP faculty members and alumni.
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