The Philippines could flatten the COVID-19 curve by the end of August or September after long months of community lockdowns, a member of the University of the Philippines (UP) research group said Monday.
Dr. Guido David of the UP, OCTA Research Team, said the virus’ reproduction rate (the number of people infected by each person carrying the virus) decreased from 1.5 to 1.1 after the government placed Metro Manila and nearby provinces were placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) for two weeks.
A reproduction rate of below 1 means the virus spread begins to slow down.
“Sa ngayon umaasa tayong kaya pa rin iyan: katapusan ng August ma-flatten ang curve, or puwedeng kahit September siguro mangyari iyan,” he told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.
(Right now we hope it can still do that: at the end of August the curve will be flattened, or maybe even September it will happen.)
However, David said that even after the Philippines flattened the COVID-19 curve, it would still take one or two more months before the number of infections would be “very manageable.”
“Hindi naman ibig sabihin flatten iyong curve, tapos na… Kaya kailangan, talagang continuous iyong effort natin. Hindi tayo puwedeng magpabaya kasi puwedeng magka-surge ulit iyan,” he said.
(Flattening the COVID-19 curve does not mean that the pandemic is over. This is why our effort needs to be continuous. We can’t be complacent because that can surge again.)
PH could flatten COVID-19 curve by end-August or September
The OCTA Research team earlier said the number of COVID-19 cases in the country could reach 230,000 by the end of August as Metro Manila and nearby provinces went back to general community quarantine (GCQ).
The Department of Health also expects the infections to increase under the less stringent community quarantine.
According to Nicanor Austriaco, a visiting professor of biology at the University of Santo Tomas, said OCTA Research team recommended a 15-day modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) extension to lower the number of transmissions.
As of August 23, the Philippines has 55,236 active COVID-19 cases, 2,998 deaths, and 131, 367 recoveries.