The Philippines may reach 470,000 to 500,000 COVID-19 cases by end of December if the rise of contagion goes unabated in the following weeks, the OCTA Research Team warned on Monday.
As stated in its latest report, the team said that this could be possible if no changes happen to the trend of recorded cases, especially as the Christmas season approaches.
The rise was earlier flagged by OCTA research fellow Dr. Guido David who said that the slight uptick is worrying but not yet alarming.
This trend was observed mostly in Metro Manila, Western Visayas and in the Davao region. Also included in the list are Quezon Province, Bulacan, Misamis Oriental and Western Samar.
For the National Capital Region (NCR), 10 out of the 17 local government units showed a rise in cases. They are still within a manageable level of hospital occupancy rate, however.
The OCTA team attributed the observed uptick to community transmission due to opening more sectors in the economy.
“Based on the available data, it is becoming clear to us that the increases in new cases in many places around the country are largely through community transmission exacerbated by the rise in mobility due to the opening up of the economy,” it stated.
It was further amplified by a “deteriorating compliance” of the public to minimum health standards which is somewhat due to what is called “pandemic fatigue.”
In line with this, the group is calling for a careful analysis on choosing the community quarantine classifications imposed until the end of the year. It specifically recommended the extension of general community quarantine (GCQ).
OCTA also reminded the public that it is better to stay indoors in celebration of the Christmas season and to refrain from gathering with other members of the family.
“We also appeal to our citizens to avoid not just crowded and enclosed areas but also to refrain from joining or organizing social gatherings this Christmas season,” they said, noting evidence from Western countries that are already in their second wave of the virus.
Earlier, members of the Health Professionals against COVID-19 urged officials to keep reiterating to the public the strict adherence to minimum health standards as they fear that a spike in cases could happen during the Holidays.
As of Monday afternoon, the Philippines has reported 431,630 individuals infected by COVID-19 — similar to the OCTA team’s initial projection — with active cases at more than 24,000.