The Department of Health has warned that daily COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila could reach up to 43,000 by September 30 unless the national and local governments boosted virus containment measures.
“Based on a set of assumptions, daily cases in the National Capital Region for September 30 may range from 16,000 to 43,000. The assumptions used included mobility, public health, and healthcare capacities and system, and the public’s adherence to the minimum public health standards,” the DOH said in a statement.
The DOH said the projection was “not cast in stone,” adding the figures were used to guide the government to be better prepared in its pandemic response, especially with the presence of the highly contagious Delta variant.
“With these high daily case projections, the Department calls on the national government and LGUs to lower the interval between case detection to isolation, strictly monitor the public’s adherence to the MPHS, and further ramp up vaccination coverage to lower our daily cases in NCR,” it said.
“The DOH also reminds the public to use face masks correctly and consistently, practice physical distancing, and get vaccinated when they become eligible,” it said.
Independent expert group OCTA Research earlier said it expected new cases in the NCR to continue to increase, “albeit at a slower growth rate.”
It said the reproduction number, which refers to the number of people that each COVID-19 case, could hit below 1 by the third week of September.
Metro Manila reported 41,449 active cases as of Thursday, based on DOH data. The region has so far posted 618,724 recoveries and 9,004 deaths.
At least 45 percent of the target population in the NCR are now fully vaccinated, the government said.
Meanwhile, the Philippines logged on Friday 20,310 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 2,040,568, the DOH reported.
This is the second highest daily infections reported since the pandemic started. On Monday, the country reported an all-time high of 22,366 cases.
The DOH also reported 193 new fatalities, bringing the death toll to 33,873.
The DOH also reported 7,710 new recoveries, bringing the total recoveries to 1,847,701.
The DOH also reported 158,994 active cases, also the highest since April 17.
In related developments:
* An alliance of health workers on Friday called on the government to come up with concrete plans in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic as patients continue to flood hospitals. The Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19 (HPAAC), in a press conference, said the situation is getting worse especially in provinces where hospitals have limited capacities. The group apologized on behalf of hospitals that could no longer accept COVID-19 patients. The group also mentioned the government's alleged failure to give all the benefits owed to healthcare workers despite the huge amount of misused and unspent funds.
* Calls to One Hospital Command Center (OHCC) who sought help for COVID-19 patients increased by 200 percent in August, an OHCC official said. During the Laging Handa briefing, Medical Director Dr. Marylaine Padlan said that the increase was due to new COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila. "Around 20 percent of our calls are from NCR (National Capital Region)," she said.