Will we be able to contain COVID-19 by May?

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The World Health Organization (WHO) had just said it— if the Philippines lift the lockdown a tad earlier than expected, it will create fresh infestations, causing the current figures to rise exponentially. Basing on the China experience, they actually implemented a two-month lockdown before the Central government decided to slowly open themselves up–vaccine or no vaccine.

Here, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte says that he will just lift his enhanced quarantine caper if there is already a vaccine or a cocktail of drugs based on plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients which could be used to strengthen the immune systems of non-infected individuals. Others depend much on the so-called herd immunity which pictures non-realistic numbers which are very hard to accept, believe me. These people are emulating Western models which are unsuited for the Philippines. Instead of this, why not adopt the generally accepted SIR or modified SIR models for our decision makers to have a basis on determining the “curve.” Surprisingly, even Duterte does not have a clue on where we are right now–a sign of incompetence. Imagine, you are managing an entire country with enormous resources and talent and you even described this as a war but your incompetence or lack of intellectual capabilities to understand and process data shows. How on earth do you, Mr. Duterte manage to do such sacrilege! You are the least of people here in this country to lead a war, you with your bravado, will surely bring us to the precipice of disaster.

Lifting the lockdown by May will not do it. Or even if you lift it by June or July. Expect the numbers to rise–and naturally so because we are entering the monsoon season when expect a spike in flu reported cases. The effects of this is catastrophic–it will surely overwhelm our health system.

Of course, the administration right now faces a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea. If the administration insists on extending the quarantine, this will surely impact on the economy. If it lifts, expect numbers to rise. The thing is government is being advised by amateurs. They insist on the widest possible coverage of testing when sample testing is already adequate to answer basic questions such as hotspots and the like.

There is surely a need to open up the economy by May to arrest  possible and serious repercussions for the next few months. What government should do is not to threaten every single one with harm but rather do its job, period.

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