MANILA, Philippines – Before March ended, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines hit the 2,000 mark. As of March 31, 2,084 people are confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus. Philippine death toll has reached 88 while 49 patients have recovered.
Next week will be the scheduled end of the government-imposed lockdown in Luzon, that took effect last March 17. Will the lockdown be lifted or extended? What could guide government planners in making an assessment? (READ: Bayanihan law report: Duterte yet to fully exercise special budget powers)
Let’s talk about data, how important it is in big decisions, and how it’s has been severely lacking in the Philippines’ immediate response to COVID-19. Join us in a Rappler+ Webinar with Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Associate Professor Erika Legara on Friday, April 3, at 10 am. Being one of the Philippines’ top complex systems scientist, she is the Academic Program Director of AIM’s Master of Science in Data Science and Aboitiz Chair in Data Science.
Legara and fellow data scientist Christoper Monterola were among the first ones to ring the alarm that 26,000 people will potentially be infected by the end of March if the virus is not contained.
“The scale, what is the potential of this epidemic? We can see that from the growth trends of our infected cases. Unfortunately, right now, we only know the reported ones… We need more data. And when I say more data, we need more tests,” she told Maria Ressa in a recent Rappler Talk interview.
Inventory of the Department of Health as of March 30 shows that 15,337 have been tested. This was a huge leap from the 1,030 tests conducted mid-March. However, the Department of Health’s coronavirus tracker shows that only 3,938 people have been tested as of of March 31.
Can this rate of increased testing help accurately project the spread of COVID-19 in the Philippines? (READ: [ANALYSIS] 3 ideas on mass testing: Where, how, and why?)
To watch the full video, use the password “rpluswebinar.”