Worst case scenario? Pandemic may last until 2021 if no intervention – DOH

Bonz Magsambol

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Worst case scenario? Pandemic may last until 2021 if no intervention – DOH


The department's estimation is based on studies of scientists and mathematicians, says Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire

MANILA, Philippines – Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Monday, April 13, said that the coronavirus pandemic in the country might last until January 2021 if no intervention is done. 

“Ang atin pong mga estimation ay galing sa ating mga scientists, sa mga mathematicians… Worst case scenario, base po sa kanilang pag-aaral ay next year po ng January… Ito po ay mangyayari kung wala tayong gagawin na intervention,” Vergeire said in a press briefing aired on state-run PTV-4. 

(Our estimation is from scientists and mathematicians. Worst case scenario, based on their study, the pandemic might last until January next year. This will happen if no intervention is done.)

According to Vergeire, vaccines for the coronavirus being developed by other countries would take about 6 to 12 months or even 1 and 1/2 years to be ready for commercial use. 

“Kaya po tayo ang ginagamit natin (That’s why what we’re implementing) are the measures that worked in other countries like physical distancing, avoidance of mass gathering, and frequent washing of hands,” Vergeire said.

As of Sunday, April 12, the Philippines registered 4,648 cases of coronavirus, with 297 deaths and 197 recoveries.

Health experts have estimated that the number of cases in the country may reach anywhere between 26,000 and 75,000. (READ: Ex-DOH chief: Actual number of virus cases could reach 75,000 in 2 weeks)

A separate study of the University of the Philippines also said that coronavirus cases in the country may peak from the end of April to June, with around 140,000 to 550,000 people infected in Metro Manila alone. (READ: ‘Modified’ community quarantine can be explored to flatten COVID-19 curve – study)

Based on the health department’s coronavirus tracker, it has tested a total of 33,814 individuals for possible infection as of 4 pm Sunday, April 12.

The government said that starting Tuesday, April 14, there will be “massive” testing of people who may have the virus. They aim to run 20,000 tests per day by April 27 to enable better contact tracing based on confirmed cases.

The government has also extended the lockdown in Luzon until April 30, from the original April 12. – Rappler.com






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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler.