Palace concedes PH won’t beat UP’s COVID-19 forecast by end-July
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has thrown in the towel of defeat, saying that this time, the country would not be able to beat the University of the Philippines’ forecast of coronavirus cases possibly reaching 85,000 by the end of July.
This month’s statistics do not bode well, and presidential spokesperson Harry Roque — who was previously criticized for gleefully celebrating in a televised press briefing about bringing the then COVID-19 cases to a figure much lower than the UP-predicted figure of 40,000 cases by end-June — acknowledged this fact.
Since June, the cases have more than doubled, given that as of Tuesday, there were 83,673 COVID-19 infections recorded, with 1,947 deaths and 26,617 recoveries.
“Well, I’m sad to say, we’re not,” Roque said in an interview over CNN Philippines when asked about recent daily recording of COVID-19 cases by the thousand.
“To those who made fun of my excitement, you got what you wanted. The forecast happened. And I see no reason why we should celebrate. That is sad,” he added.
A recent study from UP researchers stated that COVID-19 cases may reach 85,000 with 2,000 deaths by July 31. The group attributed this to the increase in mobility of the public as areas shifted to general community quarantine.
Regardless, Roque stressed that the country should “always aim to beat the forecast.”
“Because it happened in Cebu already, they were able to reduce the transmission and if Cebu was able to do it, we should be able to do it in Metro Manila as well,” he went on.
After the public rebuke he got for congratulating the Philippines for “beating” the prediction of UP researchers in June, Roque later claimed he was congratulating the public on preventing transmission, and not lauding the government’s efforts.
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