COVID-19 cases in PH may reach 500,000 by December 31 — OCTA research
MANILA, Philippines — The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country may hit the 500,000 mark by December 31, a group of academic experts said Monday.
In its latest report released November 30, the OCTA Research Team projects a lower estimate of 470,000 COVID-19 cases and a higher estimate of 500,000 cases by December 31, with a mean 485,000.
As of November 30, there are 431,630 COVID-19 cases in the country, with 398,658 recoveries and a death toll of 8,392.
“Based on the available data, it is becoming clear to us that the increases in new cases in many places around the country are largely community transmission exacerbated by the rise in mobility due to the opening up of the economy coupled with the deteriorating compliance with the minimum health standard by citizens due to pandemic fatigue,” the research notes.
“In some places, the situation is further exacerbated by the effects of the recent typhoons,” it adds.
The research also dubbed several areas in the country as “provinces of concern,” which includes the National Capital Region, Davao del Sur, Quezon, Negros Occidental, Pampanga, Bulacan, Misamis Oriental, and Western Samar.
It also marked as high risk for the period of November 22 to 28 the areas of Makati City, Lucena in Quezon, Batangas City, Davao City, and Pagadian in Zamboanga del Sur.
“Even as nationally we have had a relatively flat to a small increase in cases, the cases are more spread out throughout the country,” the research states.
“The situation remains fickle at the local level and requires more vigilant monitoring. Given the large differences in access to health care facilities from region to region, it is important to build up testing capacities/isolation areas in Mindanao and Visayas, where an increase in Covid-19 cases may be more difficult to manage and control,” it adds.
The experts then called on national and local governments to strictly monitor and enforce compliance with minimum health standards such as physical distancing, the wearing of face masks and face shields and proper hygiene to reverse the increase in transmissions at the community level.
They also asked the public to avoid crowded areas and avoid joining social gatherings during the Christmas season. [ac]
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