‘Uptick’ of COVID-19 cases in PH possible during holiday season – expert

Bonz Magsambol
‘Uptick’ of COVID-19 cases in PH possible during holiday season – expert

People troop to malls on August 20, 2020, as Metro Manila reverts to General Community Quarantine. Photo by Dante Diosina Jr/Rappler

Octa Research Group fellow Guido David says that the government's quick response is important whenever there's an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases

An expert studying the coronavirus outbreak in the country said that an “uptick” of coronavirus cases is possible during the holiday season.

“Pagdating ng holiday season, mayroon na ring fatigue ang mga tao. Gusto na rin lumabas. Puwedeng magkaroon ng uptick, pero ang importante diyan ay kailangan ‘yung response natin mabilis para kung magkaroon ng konting uptick sa cases ay hindi na lalala at hindi na magkaroon ng surge,” Octa Research Group fellow Guido David said in an interview with DZMM on Thursday, November 5.

(As holiday season approaches, people already want to go out due to fatigue. Uptick of cases is possible, but what is important is a quick response so that if ever there’s a slight uptick, it would not worsen and there would be no surge.)

Meanwhile, David noted that the overall trend of cases in the country is good, which explains why the Philippines dropped out of the top 20 countries with the most number of coronavirus cases worldwide.

In its latest report published on November 2, the Octa Research Group said that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country continues to decrease even with the resumption of the testing services of the Philippine Red Cross.

The experts noted a decrease in cases in virus epicenter Metro Manila, with an average of 490 cases recorded per day.

Strictly follow health protocols

Despite the downward trend in cases, David advised the public to continue observing minimum health standards such as wearing of face masks, handwashing, and practicing social distancing.

“Hindi pa rin mababago ang pagsunod sa health protocols hangga’t sobrang konti na lang ang kaso,” he said. (We will continue adhering to health protocols until there are only a few cases left.)

David also said that the Philippines could open the economy more by 2021.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire had said earlier that the government’s target is for the entire country to be under the least strict modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) by the first quarter of 2021. This is possible, she said, if local government units comply with standards on prevention, contract tracing, and treatment.

Experts have repeatedly warned that despite relaxation of quarantine measures, the public must remain cautious and continue observing minimum health standards such as practicing social distancing, wearing of face masks, and staying at home if possible.

As of Thursday, the Philippines has 389,725 coronavirus cases, with 7,409 deaths and 349,543 recoveries. Of the total cases, 32,773 are active. –

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.