MANILA (UPDATE)— The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday warned the public that disregarding minimum health protocols amid improved mobility across the country could lead to a spike in COVID-19 infections by the end of the year.
In a public briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire pointed out that based on projections of the agency's FASSSTER contagion modeling tool as of Oct. 26, active cases could reach over 52,000 by yearend if health protocols are violated.
The projections took into consideration a person's mobility, compliance with minimum public health standards, the country's health systems capacity, detection-to-isolation period, and vaccination rate, according to Vergeire.
"Pagka nawala po o tumaas ang mobility natin, ang ating active cases sa buong Pilipinas may reach up to 52,393," the official said in a public briefing.
"Maaari ito pong ang ating numero na mayroon tayo ngayon ay ganun pa rin hanggang sa end ng December," she added.
This means, she said in a clarification, that active cases could rise when "increased mobility was accompanied by reduction of MPHS compliance and longer detection to isolation intervals."
Vergeire's statement came a day after Metro Manila shifted to the looser Alert Level 2 amid the steady slowdown in new COVID-19 cases.
The Philippine National Police (PNP), in the same briefing, said they have apprehended over 9,000 quarantine violators in the region on the first day of the said alert level.
They have yet to release the breakdown of violations, but a tenth of those were minors who violated curfews in their cities, said PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar.
But Vergeire said active infections could dip to around 22,000 by mid-November if the current mobility and compliance to minimum public health standards are maintained.
"'Pag na-maintain natin yung current na mobility natin sa ngayon, which is about 82 percent, at na-maintain natin 'yung compliance natin to minimum public health standards, and 'yung detection to isolation natin ay nasa 5 araw or less, tayo po ay magkakaroon ng active cases na 22,000 by Nov. 15," Vergeire said.
Fresh infections nationwide continued to decline as more Filipinos get vaccinated against COVID-19.
OCTA fellow Guido David said the capital region posted only 358 cases on Friday, followed by Negros Oriental (155), Negros Occidental (119), and Zamboanga (114).
The Philippines on Friday announced 2,376 new COVID-19 cases, falling for the fourth straight day below the 3,000-mark, data from the health department showed.
Video from PTV