The total number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines could reach 100,000 by August 31, University of the Philippines professors said on July 7.
Professor Guido David from the UP Institute of Mathematics said the actual number of coronavirus cases in the country might exceed this projection.
"Posibleng lumagpas pa sa 100,000 pero gusto muna nating makita by end of July. End of July kasi ang projection natin baka pumalo ng 70,000," he said in an interview with Dobol B sa News TV.
Professor Ranjit Singh Rye from the UP Department of Political Science—who was also part of UP’s earlier studies on COVID-19 cases in the country—confirmed the projection.
"Ang tingin namin ni Prof. Guido, given the new trend, kasi ang tinitingnan ng tao 'yung numero eh. Dapat ang tingnan natin 'yung trend, pataas. So, maaaring lumampas pa sa aming forecast," Rye said.
Both David and Rye are part of the research team that gathers data on the COVID-19 pandemic, and they’ve been sharing their projections since April.
Early last month, the UP OCTA research team said the country would have 40,000 cases by June 31. As June came to a close, researchers from UP and the University of Santo Tomas said the number of cases could hit 60,000 by the end of July.
The R-naught stands for the infectivity rate of COVID-19. Anything beyond 1 means the virus is spreading, while a figure below 1 means we’re flattening the curve. In their previous projection, the country’s R-naught was at 1.28, but it has since increased to 1.6, David said.
"'Yung surge kasi sa Cebu and also sa NCR (National Capital Region), hindi pa na-contain 'yung sa NCR kaya dumadami 'yung cases," he added.
There have been debates on what wave we’re currently in, but David said we’re still on the first wave, and it’s not yet over.
"Yung graph natin pataas lang siya so kung hindi pa siya bumaba, wala pa tayo sa ano, hindi pa tayo nakalagpas sa peak," he said.
Both David and Rye suggested that authorities put in the effort to curb transmission before easing quarantine restrictions in the country, especially in high-risk areas like Metro Manila and Cebu.
As of July 7, the country has recorded 47,873 cases, with 12,386 recoveries and 1,309 casualties.