UP Experts predict over 9,000 new COVID-19 cases in NCR by June 15

Experts from the University of the Philippines project 9,380 new cases and 840 deaths across cities in the National Capital Region (NCR) by June 15 if current trends continue.

Image Credit: Yuan Zheng/EPA

(DOH: Another lockdown needed if COVID-19 cases spike up)

In their COVID-19 forecast dated May 20 the team breaks down the projected cases by city. Quezon City and Mandaluyong are projected to see the largest increase in cases with 2,540 and 1,320 respectively. Pateros and Navotas are expected to have the smallest share of cases at 50 and 65 accordingly.

All other cities will see a growth in cases in the hundreds.

The team of researchers explains that the forecast is “assuming ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) is in place and transmissions continue based on their current trends.” The figures do not include the nearly 1,000 pending cases of NCR in the Department of Health’s database.

“Any modifications in ECQ may cause an increase in the number of total cases and deaths,” they warn. In line with this, they recommend the national government to continue “significant restrictions” in NCR and Cebu City and expand it to other areas as necessary.

They also recommend a further expansion of the government’s testing capacity and pursuance of “aggressive” contact tracing. Health systems should also be capable of detecting, isolating, and treating every COVID-19 case to sustain gains from the ECQ.

They remind Filipinos not to be complacent “because it takes just one spreader to start a second wave of the pandemic.”

“Given the recent decision by government to loosen restrictions and based on the experience of other countries, the likelihood of a resurgence seems to be not a question of if but where, and how bad. The virus is still with us and we have not yet developed herd immunity,” the researchers said.

They caveat that “government cannot do everything. The cooperation of business, civil society, and each and every individual is necessary to ensure the effective implementation of quarantine rules, the safety of workplaces, and the strict enforcement of physical distancing and other important health protocols.”

To this end they conclude that “we need to collectively sustain the efficient and effective implementation of the MECQ and all the other quarantines all over the country. It is against this backdrop, that we continue to encourage ever greater cooperation and collaboration between government, the private sector, and civil society.”

The UP report was authored by Institute of Mathematics Assistant Professor Guido David, Department of Political Science Assistant Professor Ranjit Singh Rye, and OCTA Research Associate Ma. Patricia Agbulos.

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