Flatten the COVID-19 curve? Roque reserves possible 'congratulations' for now

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 24 2020 04:26 PM

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. file

MANILA - Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque expressed hopes on Monday that the Philippines could see a flattening of the coronavirus curve by the end of the month, or next month as he reserved his greeting to the public.

Filipinos could see a decrease in new COVID-19 cases by the end of August or early September, Dr. Guido David of the University of the Philippines OCTA Research Team said Monday.

"Sana nga po, mangyari iyon ‘no, dahil ang inaantay lang natin pagdating ng katapusan ng buwan na ito, eh kung mas mababa po iyong mare-record na kaso kung ikukumpara natin doon sa naging forecast ng UP study group. Kung hindi po ako nagkakamali, parang 250,000 yata ang kanilang forecast. So, tingnan po natin," Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

(I hope that happens because we are waiting if our tally at the end of the month is lower than the forecast of the UP study group. If I'm not mistaken, their forecast is 250,000 cases.)

COVID-19’s reproduction rate — or the number of people infected by each person carrying the virus — went down to 1.1 from 1.5 after Metro Manila and 4 nearby provinces’ 2-week return to the second strictest lockdown level earlier this month, David said.

For now, Roque said he would defer any congratulatory remark for the nation.

"We will reserve whether or not we will congratulate the Filipino people anew or better luck next time," he said.

The Palace mouthpiece has been known to pay attention to the forecast of UP researchers on COVID-19.

In June, Roque became viral for fist-pumping after saying that the country "beat" the prediction of UP researchers that there would be 40,000 COVID-19 cases by the end of June.

As of Monday, the Philippines has confirmed 194,252 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. Of this number, 59,200 are active cases.