MANILA - The Philippines may see the "worst-case scenario" of the new coronavirus pandemic by January next year if no interventions were made, according to estimates, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Monday.
"Nagkaroon po tayo ng tatlong modeling estimates na ginawa kung saan ang timeline ranged from hanggang third quarter of the year, and maybe worst-case scenario, base sa kanilang pagkakaaral, ay next year po ng January. But these are all estimations," she said in a virtual press briefing.
(We had three modeling estimates with the timelines ranging until the third quarter of the year, and maybe the worst-case scenario, based on their studies, is by next year of January. But these are all estimations.)
"Ito'y mangyayari kung wala tayong gagawing intervention," she said.
(This will happen if we will not do any intervention.)
Since there is no vaccine yet for COVID-19, Vergeire said the Philippines is adopting non-pharmaceutical interventions to curb the spread of the disease.
Among these are physical distancing, proper and frequent handwashing, and the ban on mass gatherings.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the government's strategy, for now, is aimed at ensuring that the country's healthcare system is not overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.
"Ang management po natin na ginagawa ngayon is to enable for us to flatten the curve para po we do not overwhelm the healthcare facilities natin, our doctors, our frontliners, our hospital beds, our ventilators," he said.
"We have to manage this in a way that we have to last, period ‘no. More recoveries, less deaths... So talagang ano, hahanap talaga tayo ng paraan dito (we will find a way)," he said.
The Philippines has already logged 4,932 cases of the disease, as of Monday, including 242 recoveries and 315 fatalities.
The Philippine main island of Luzon has been on lockdown since March 17, and will remain under enhanced community quarantine until April 30. Other areas in the Visayas and Mindanao have been placed under ECQ also.