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UP prof projects 150,000 COVID-19 cases in PHL at the end of August

MANILA — Given the present rate of transmission with a record-breaking of 4,063 COVID-19 cases on Friday (July 31), a University of the Philippines professor and a member of a research group providing data to President Duterte projected Saturday that the COVID-19 cases may reach 150,000 infected individuals all over the country at the end of August.

Dr. Guido David, a member of the University of the Philippines OCTA Research, in the DZRH Special On Saturday (SOS) program, said that with the continuing rise of cases they estimate the number will almost double at the end of August at 150,000 COVID-19 cases.

The UP OCTA Research had projected the COVID-19 cases all over the Philippines to reach 80,000 to 85,000 at the end of July. Yesterday (July 31), the official confirmed cases the Department of Health recorded has reached 93,354 COVID-19 cases.

“The 150,000 cases at the end of August may increase or decrease but that is our trajectory as of now. There are also positive in our reports like Cebu that have already flattened their curve for 30 days already. Their reproduction number is less than one day and the rate of transmission has slowed down even as the number of community transmission is still significant at 200 cases a day,” David said.

He said they are waiting for the number of cases to go down after Cebu has flattened.

David said in Manila the transmission rate is still high at 1.3 to 1.4 persons which will comprise the bulk of the 150,000 cases projected at the end of August.

David said the National Capital Region’s (NCR’s) number of cases is increasing and at present it has reached almost 50,000 cases, and possibly at the end of August it will reach 90,000 COVID-19 cases.

He said the provinces outside of the NCR like in the CALABAR Zone, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna, are having problem of increasing number of cases and faster transmission rate.

David said Quezon, Batangas, Pampanga and Baguio City are not high-risk at the moment even though cases are also increasing.

He identified high-risk areas with an increasing number of COVID-19 cases that include Negros Occidental, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga City, Davao del Sur, and Davao City.

David said the medium-risk provinces are Lanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental, and Davao del Norte.

“These areas must be monitored because cases are rising there,” he said.

David said former high-risk areas like Basilan, Eastern Visayas, Leyte, Samar, Southern Leyte are not anymore.

He took note of the rising cases in Iloilo, Bohol, and Camarines Sur and the provinces that are emerging as possible hot spots like Cagayan and Isabela but the number of cases is not yet alarming.

David said the pandemic is still under control in the provinces that are not high risk.

If there is an observation that there is a slowdown of transmission in the NCR, he thinks it is not enough because two hospitals in Makati and Pateros are already 100 percent fully occupied while they cannot accommodate more patients.

David said the hospitals in Metro Manila are now 70 percent full or in the critical level already.

He added that the doctors and nurses in Metro Manila are now overwhelmed with the deluge of cases that they are monitoring.

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