COVID-19 cases may reach 40K daily by late September, early October: UP

Benise Balaoing, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 15 2021 11:56 AM

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MANILA – The number of new COVID-19 infections in the Philippines could go as high as 40,000 per day by late September or early October, according to the University of the Philippines (UP) COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team.

“Based on that projections, the numbers could still be increasing up to the end of September, early October and we might reach 30,000-40,000 cases per day, reported through RT-PCR testing,” Professor Jomar Rabajante said on ANC’s “Rundown.”

“We still don’t include there the undetected cases and the detected by antigen test,” he said.

Rabajante said they also see an increasing number of cases because of the high positivity rate in the country.

“Positivity rate is still high. It’s nearly 30 percent which means that in three people being tested by RT-PCR, one might turn out positive.”

He also noted that hospital occupancy rates remain high in the Philippines.

“In terms of (intensive care unit) beds and bed wards, they are still increasing but, it’s slowing down. Compared to the previous speed like in the March 2021 increase it’s slowing down but of course, it’s just the rate. In terms of the actual number it’s still high, that’s why we hear news saying that hospitals are overwhelmed with severe and critical cases,” he explained.

Rabajante said he believes granular lockdowns may be better for the country going forward as it tries to fight the pandemic. 

“I believe granular lockdown is better compared to the regional-wide or provincial wide lockdowns. This is because we’ve seen in the data that very wide lockdowns are not anymore effective compared to the 2020 and March 2021 ECQs,” he said.

“This is also because [by] having granular lockdowns, we can really target places [with] very high risk, very high number of clusters.”

He stressed, however, that for these to be successful, more people are needed for contact tracing and implementing other COVID-related rules on the ground.

“But in order for the granular lockdown to be successful, this means that we need to increase testing in that place, [and] contract tracing, definitely contact tracing. We need to increase our effort of COVID sheriffs, people implementing the rules. Sadly I’m working with soime LGUs, they don’t have people to do this.”

“I’m not sure with NCR, there might be, but for the provinces I’ve worked with, the LGUs, they’re saying they cannot do this up to the granular level,” he said.

The Philippines logged 18,056 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, September 14.

---ANC, 15 September 2021