MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines might reach 30,000 daily fresh cases of COVID-19 by next week, OCTA Research said Sunday, amid the continuing spread of the more transmissible Delta variant in the country.
The independent research firm, however, doesn't see 43,000 daily new infections in Metro Manila alone, as projected by the health department, said its fellow Guido David.
"Maaring umabot tayo ng 30,000 sa buong Pilipinas by end of September sa trajectory, pero di namin nakikita ang 43,000 sa Metro Manila alone," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(We can reach 30,000 fresh cases in the whole country by end of September in our trajectory, but we don't see 43,000 daily new cases in Metro Manila alone.)
"It could happen baka today or tomorrow. Nandyan ang possibility, definitely by next week mukhang mahihigitan natin yan."
(It could happen maybe today or tomorrow. There's that possibility, definitely by next week, we'll exceed it.)
The decline of the country's reproduction number, or the number of people infected by a single virus patient, is slowing down, according to David.
It is currently at 1.32 nationwide, and 1.41 in Metro Manila, he said.
"Pag umabot tayo ng 43,000 sa Metro Manila, ang ADR (average daily attack rate) aabot ng 300. Just to put it into perspective, this will be much worse than India, Indonesia," he said.
(If we reach 43,000 in Metro Manila, the ADR will reach 300.)
"Kung mangyayari yan, pero wala yan sa projections namin sa ngayon, sobrang malaking impact niyan sa ating bansa, sa NCR.
Maraming mamamatay, maraming masasawi kung ganyan kataas ang bilang ng kaso."
(If this will happen, although it's not in our projections for now, it will have a huge impact in our country, in NCR. Many will die if cases will reach that high.)
The Philippines' positivity rate, or the number of those who take a COVID-19 test and turn positive, is at 27 percent to 28 percent, while it is 25 percent in Metro Manila, David said.
Among areas with the most cases are the capital region, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan, Cebu (including Cebu City), Iloilo (including Iloilo City), Davao del Sur (including Davao City), Cagayan, Bukidnon, Tarlac, Quezon, and Pangasinan, according to David.
The number of cases in Metro Manila is expected to decline in the second or third week this month, he said.
"We just have to be patient to strictly implement whatever ang restrictions natin (our restrictions). Bawasan ang non-essential travel at sumunod sa health restrictions," he said.
(Lessen non-essential travel and follow health restrictions.)
The reproduction rate in Quezon City, the largest city in the capital region, is "down to 1.3" percent from 1.59 percent, said its mayor Joy Belmonte. It is the "second or third lowest" in terms of ADR, she added.
"Based on projections made by experts, by now, dapat nasa 2,000 per day. At the moment, 'di pa tayo umaabot sa 1,000, at stable lang po ang bilang ng daily active cases natin which means we're able to contain the virus," she said.
(Based on projections made by experts, by now we should have reached 2,000 cases per day. At the moment, we have not reached 1,000, and the number of our daily active cases is stable which means we're able to contain the virus.)
This is due to proactive testing and strict quarantine as the city was the first to implement a granular lockdown system last year, Belmonte said.
"I think it’s a very effective way of addressing COVID in such a large city para 'di apektado ang buong lungsod (so that the entire metro is not affected)," she said.
The capital region will continue to implement granular lockdown, while government is still studying and monitoring whether to retain its quarantine classification, said Benhur Abalos, chairman of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.
"If there's one thing na talagang naging magkakaiba nung araw at ngayon ay yung bakuna (that's different from before and now, it's the vaccine)," he said.
"Tingnan natin nung nabakunahan--dumami ang kaso mo pero napakaraming asymptomatic."
(When people were vaccinated--there were many cases but most are asymptomatic.)
The region has administered first doses to 12,950,718 residents while it has fully vaccinated half of its target population, he added.
"I'm very sure naka-50 percent na tayo na (that 50 percent are) fully protected," he said.
Nationwide, more than 14.1 individuals are already fully vaccinated, while more than 20 million are partially inoculated against COVID-19.