‘COVID-19 cases may hit 2 million in a week’ Janvic Mateo

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a group of people in a room: ‘COVID-19 cases may hit 2 million in a week’

© The STAR/Michael Varcas ‘COVID-19 cases may hit 2 million in a week’

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines may reach a total of two million COVID-19 cases in two weeks, according to projections made by a member of OCTA Research.

OCTA fellow Guido David said the 13,573 new cases recorded yesterday are within range but slightly higher than their estimates.

“It looks likely that we will reach a total of 2,000,000 cases in seven days,” he said on Twitter.

As of yesterday, the Philippines has recorded a total of 1,883,088 cases, with 125,378 active cases and 32,492 deaths.

David said the country had an average of 15,228 new cases and 267 deaths per day from Aug. 19 to 25.

In Metro Manila, the number of new COVID cases continued to increase but has started to slow down.

From Aug. 18 to 24, the region recorded an average of 2,019 new cases per day, up by 13 percent from the preceding week.

OCTA noted that the growth rate in previous weeks went as high as 64 percent.

While Metro Manila’s reproduction number – which indicates the number of individuals a positive person can infect – is still at critical 1.53, the group noted that it has already decreased over the past weeks.

David said nine local government units (LGUs) in the region had single digit or less growth rates, with Navotas and Malabon seeing a decrease in the average daily new cases in the past week.

Except Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan and Marikina, all Metro Manila LGUs still have “critical” average daily attack rate of over 25 daily new cases per 100,000 population.

Granular lockdowns, or lockdowns where certain areas would be sealed off, remain effective in preventing the further spread of COVID-19 in communities, an official insisted yesterday.

Such lockdowns – wherein households, neighborhoods, buildings or streets are closed – could prevent more people from being hospitalized, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos said.

He believes granular lockdowns should still be enforced even if many residents of Metro Manila have been inoculated, he said at a Laging Handa briefing.

When an area is under granular lockdown, LGUs are obliged to provide assistance, particularly food, to affected families as well as perform testing and contact tracing.

While Abalos said LGUs in Metro Manila still have the capacity and the funds to provide for the needs of residents under lockdown, he added that he might propose that the National Economic and Development Authority conduct a study that would formulate a cost-sharing system between the national government and LGUs.

“We can have a formula or a system at a certain level where the national (government) can help us to share resources. For example, we request the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) to give food packs, but systematized,” he explained to The STAR.

The system could be used by LGUs so they could also prepare for the implementation of more granular lockdowns, he said.

He emphasized that the time would come that LGUs might run out of resources in imposing granular lockdowns. – Ghio Ong

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