PH COVID-19 CASES COULD HIT HALF A MILLION BY END OF 2020
According to OCTA Research, the Philippines’ COVID-19 cases may reach up to 500,000 by the end of the year, a group of academic experts said Monday, ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement of quarantine measures to be implemented across the country in December.
OCTA Research said the total number of infections could hit between 470,000 and 500,000 (with a mean of 485,000 cases) by December 31. The country reported 429,864 cases, including 8,373 deaths as of November 29.
The country’s reproduction number increased to 0.88 but remains below the critical level of 1 for the period November 22 to 28, the group said. Experts said a value higher than one indicates the virus is spreading.
The researchers listed the National Capital Region (NCR), Davao del Sur, Quezon, Negros Occidental, Pampanga, Bulacan, Misamis Oriental, and Western Samar under areas of concern and categorized the cities of Makati, Lucena, Batangas, Davao and Pagadian as high-risk areas due to a spike in cases and other factors such as hospital bed occupancy.
The OCTA Research urged the national and local governments to work together to limit the spread of the virus by increasing testing, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine, and the implementation of small, targeted lockdowns to contain “super-spreading events” in the communities.
They also appealed to the public to avoid not just crowded and enclosed areas but also to refrain from joining or organizing social gatherings this Christmas season.