Brace for 5K daily COVID-19 cases

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DAILY new cases of COVID-19 in the National Capital Region (NCR) may reach 5,000 by March 31, says an expert from the OCTA Research group.

Citing their projected reproduction number, OCTA Research group’s Dr. Guido David said the estimated reproduction number in Metro Manila may have already increased from 1.66 covering February 28 -March 6 to 1.8.

“Actual cases are now beating projections. Reproduction number in NCR is estimated to be around 1.8. This surge is increasing faster than we thought. If Rt = 1.8, then we will have more than 4,000 cases by March 31 (may even reach 5,000 per day) in NCR,” Guido said in a radio interview.

He also cited the need to look into reports that most of these cases were transmitted within families or households, depressed communities and workplaces.

“The last time the region had seen this rate of increase was in July 2020,” averred Guido, who identified four areas in NCR that are at high risk for COVID-19 based on attack rate—Pasay City, Makati City, Malabon and Navotas.

In separate statements, the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Health said the public became complacent about their safety.

Several hospitals in NCR have reported an upward trend in COVID-19 cases admitted over the past weeks. Among these are Lung Center of the Philippines, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Philippine General Hospital, Ospital ng Makati and Makati Medical Center.

Private hospitals on Monday admitted a notable surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAP) president Dr. Jose Rene De Grano said the blame for the 10 percent to 15 percent rise in COVID-19 occupancy rates in private hospitals cannot merely be the presence of the more infectious UK and South Africa variants.

Based on a survey conducted by OCTA Research, there were fewer Filipinos observing social distancing than wearing face masks and face shields.

The results showed only 67 percent of Filipinos are observing social distancing, which is lower compared to the 91 percent who are wearing face masks and 82 percent who are wearing face shields.

As of this posting, the country is a thin-line shy of breaching the 600,000 mark representing the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The number of COVID-19 cases has been going up at a faster rate lately with the past few days reporting over 3,000 new infections.

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