MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) warned on Thursday, April 14, that if Filipinos continued to stay complacent with quarantine rules, a COVID-19 surge of as high as 500,000 active cases in Metro Manila by mid-May could happen.
“The country may have had a low number of cases from March to April but Filipinos have been doing MPHS (minimum public health standards) during the same period,” the DOH said in a statement citing its experts.
The DOH made the announcement as millions of Filipinos made their way to their home provinces and headed for vacations – a movement that could lead to increased transmission of the virus.
Filipinos will also troop to the polls on May 9 for the presidential elections.
The DOH said Filipinos nationwide have been following health standards less. Experts from the DOH and its partner institutions projected that if Filipinos continued to neglect protocols, the prospects could be grim.
A 20% decrease in following rules could lead to 34,788 active cases, and a 30% decrease in following rules would lead to as high as 300,000 active cases. This would mean a worse situation than the peak of the highly infectious Omicron variant in January 2022.
In Metro Manila, Filipinos were already following health rules 12% less. The DOH warned that if Filipinos in the capital region continued to neglect rules and followed them for only half the time (50% decrease), the situation could lead to 500,000 active cases by mid-May.
If Filipinos stayed vigilant, followed health standards, and continued to get vaccinated, the nationwide active cases could drop to as low as a little over 1,200, the DOH said.
“Numbers do not lie. The good news is, at this point, these are all still projections. We can still avert these estimates in favor of better scenarios,” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in the statement.
Stopping surges mean stopping death caused by the virus. Experts want the country to avoid preventable deaths – COVID-19 fatalities that could have been prevented had hospitals been less overwhelmed. – Rappler.com