UP experts say COVID-19 cases may reach 150k  by end of August


Covid virus

University of the Philippines (UP) experts said on  Friday that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country may surge to 150,000 by the end of August.

Professor Ranjit Rye, of the UP OCTA research team,  said almost double the current national case total, the projection reflects the “exponential growth” experts have talked about.

The current national case total is 93,354 as of Friday.

Rye said the team recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday to either reinstate the modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila or retain the general community quarantine, with enhanced localized lockdowns and enhanced testing, tracing and isolation.

While the virus’ reproduction number, or the number of people an infected person could pass the virus to, in Metro Manila has decreased from 1.75 to between 1.3 and 1.4, Rye said this is still a high value.

“Mataas pa rin po kasi siya…[dapat] below one,” he said.

In an earlier report, the UP OCTA team said that to flatten the curve, the reproduction number should be less than one. A value higher than one indicates the pandemic is spreading.

Meanwhile, the virus’ reproduction number in Cebu has fallen to less than one — – 0.8 or 0.9, according to Professor Guido David, who is also part of the OCTA research team.

He said this means Cebu has flattened the curve but that this is not a reason to disregard health standards./Stacy Ang

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