MANILA - Independent research group OCTA on Sunday raised its forecast on the number of new COVID-19 cases in a day in the Philippines to more than 20,000 as Metro Manila's virus infections have yet to reach its peak.
The research group earlier projected the country to log 20,000 fresh daily cases amid the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant.
The Philippines on Saturday tallied a record-high 19,441 new COVID-19 infections, bringing its total cases to 1,935,700. Of this figure, 142,679 or 7.4 percent were active infections.
Metro Manila's new cases on Saturday were at 5,085.
The capital region's virus reproduction number, or the number infected by a single COVID-19 case, remains greater than 1, said OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David.
"'Di pa naman siguro natin masasabi na aabot ng 25,000. Pero it’s very possible na hihigit 20,000, by a few thousands. I don’t have the exact number right now," David told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(We can't say yet if it will reach 25,000, but it's very possible it will be more than 20,000, by a few thousands.)
"First or 2nd week of September, makikita natin ang peak. Di pa garantisado kasi ang reproduction number, bumababa siya, pero greater 1 pa rin. Ibig sabihin, tumataas pa rin ang bilang ng kaso."
(First or 2nd week of September, we'll see it peak. Although it's not guaranteed because the reproduction number is declining but still greater than 1, which shows cases are still increasing.)
Metro Manila's virus cases grew by 11 percent in the past week versus 24 percent the previous week, David said.
"Baka malapit na magkaroon ng negative growth rate," he said.
(Maybe, we'll soon see a negative growth rate.)
The capital region was placed under a 2-week strict lockdown from Aug. 6 to 20 to curb the spread of the Delta variant. It was later placed under modified enhanced community quarantine beginning Aug. 21 until Sept. 7.
A granular lockdown would work if virus cases were not so widespread among the cities, David said.
"Sa Metro Manila siguro, kung nabawasan na ang hawahan at makikita natin na naka-concentrate sa ibang local areas, mas magiging effective ang ating granular lockdown," he said.
(In Metro Manila, if the transmission is decreased and is concentrated only in some local areas, granular lockdowns would be more effective.)
The Philippines has fully vaccinated some 13.5 million people against COVID-19, as of Aug. 26, the government said. Some 70 million are being targeted for inoculation.