OCTA Group: PH may see less than 1,000 daily COVID-19 cases by end November

Aleta Nieva Nishimori, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 20 2021 10:14 AM | Updated as of Nov 20 2021 10:37 AM

People flock to the Dapitan Arcade in Quezon City to buy Christmas decor amid easing quarantine restrictions, October 19, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
People flock to the Dapitan Arcade in Quezon City to buy Christmas decor amid easing quarantine restrictions, October 19, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA— The OCTA Research Group said Saturday the Philippines may see less than 1,000 new daily COVID-19 cases by the end of November as new infections consistently eased and the number of vaccinated Filipinos grew.
“Medyo bumababa pa rin ang bilang ng kaso. 'Yung 7-day average natin sa Philippines is now 1,400. Ine-expect natin baka maging less than 1,000 pa 'yan by the end of the month na consistently baka less than 1,000 na,” said OCTA fellow Prof. Guido David. 

(The cases have decreased. The 7-day average in the Philippines is now 1,400. We expect that to go down to less than 1,000 by the end of the month, consistently less than 1,000.)

David hopes that the 7-day average for Metro Manila, which is at 346, would still go down. 

“Last year nag-plateau tayo between 300 and 400. Gusto natin medyo bumaba pa bilang ng kaso,” he said.

(We reached a plateau of between 300 and 400 last year. We want the number of cases to go down further.)

Positivity rate in Metro Manila is now down to 2 percent, David said. 

“Ibig sabihin for every 100 na nagpapatest dalawa na lang nagpopositive at magandang indicator 'yan,” he said.

(For every 100 people tested, only two turned out positive and that’s a good indicator.)

With cases going down, the hospital utilization rate in Metro Manila has also declined and quarantine facilities are slowly becoming empty.
On Friday, the Philippines reported 1,485 new COVID-19 cases. Of the total 2,823,210 cases, 23,200 or 0.8 percent are active infections, according to the latest Department of Health (DOH) bulletin. 

But David said the improving situation does not mean that people should now be complacent. 
“Kailangan pa rin ang pag-iingat lalo na this holiday,” he stressed.

(We still need to be careful especially this holiday season.)

He also said that barring unvaccinated children in malls would not only help keep COVID-19 cases down but also prevent the younger age group from the risk of infection.

“Naiintindihan ko baka excited na sila, ito na 'yung panahon Christmas time sana ma-enjoy ng mga bata na matagal nang nakakulong sa bahay. Outdoors naman pinapayagan. Baka pag al fresco dining pwede naman siguro,” he said.

(We understand that they are excited, we hope that they enjoy this Christmas time after being cooped at home for a long time. Going outdoors is allowed. Al fresco dining is allowed.)

He said there is still one month to go and when cases further drop then it may be the time to reconsider allowing children back into malls.

“Pero sa ngayon, siguraduhin nating patuloy pang bumababa ang kaso para maganda ang holiday natin,” he said.

(But for now, let’s make sure cases continue to go down so we’ll have a good holiday.)

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David also pointed out that a big factor in the improving situation in the country is due to more people being vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Maganda ang kalagayan natin ngayon, I hope ma-preserve natin ito para tuloy-tuloy na until next next year para makabawi na economy natin next year,” he said.

(Our situation is better now and I hope we can preserve this so that will continue until next year for our economy to further recover.)

As of Thursday, the country has fully vaccinated nearly 33 million individuals, while almost 41 million are partially immunized from the respiratory disease. 

The government has also started administering booster shots to health care workers earlier this week, with other priority sectors lined up next.