MANILA, Philippines — The country could see 430,000 active cases of COVID-19 by the end of April if strict lockdowns will not be imposed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.
In an online press conference, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said DOH data shows a “continuing and swift” rise of cases “as evidenced by the classification of the National Capital Region as critical risk, Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal at critical risk, and Laguna at high risk based on the two-week growth rate and the average daily attack rate.”
According to her, projections indicated that “if we reduce the transmission and the reduction of transmission is low—meaning we are not going to impose harder lockdowns or harder measures—430,000 active cases nationally, we will have that by the end of April.”
“Sabi nila kung hindi tayo magbibigay ng (They say that if we don’t impose) immediate or harder measures, we will see 430,000 cases by the end of April nationally, and 350,000 cases in NCR alone by the end of April,” she added.
Vergeire noted that healthcare utilization was also increasing at 63 percent for Metro Manila and 58 percent for Calabarzon while the occupancy rate at intensive care units for critical and severe patients is also going up.
“What would be most worrisome would be our ICU utilization rate wherein if you look at the different areas affected or included in the NCR Plus bubble, you’d find utilization ranging from 70 to 100 percent for their ICU beds,” she added.
The Philippines has already recorded a total of 721,892 COVID-19 cases since the country confirmed its first case in January last year. This tally included the 603,154 recoveries and 13,170 deaths so far.
The government has placed Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna, or the so-called NCR Plus, under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) starting March 29 until April 4 due to surges of COVID-19 cases.
On the eve of a reimposed ECQ, the nationwide total active COVID-19 cases was at 105,568, including the 9,475 new cases reported on March 28.
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