COVID-19 cases may hit 61,000 to 95,000 by end-August – UP experts

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 4) — The number of coronavirus cases in the country might hit as high as 95,000 by the end of August, according to a recent projection of the UP COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team.

Using data from the Department of Health as of Thursday, the team projects the cumulative count of cases by end-August will be at 78,641. This is the average of the highest and lowest numbers of cases forecasted by the team come August 31, which currently stand at 61,332 to 95,590.

The projections utilize a model produced by the UP Los Baños Biomathematics Team which assumes medium risk to set the initial workable requirements for local government units.

Under medium risk, a municipality or city's population density is averaged, with people maintaining physical distancing, and herd immunity is included.

The UP COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team was created last March as part of the University of the Philippines' efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic. Led by UP executive vice president Dr. Ted Herbosa and UP Resilience Institute executive director Dr. Mahar Lagmay, the team is consisted of UPRI directors and experts on fields such as public health, medicine, engineering, education and governance.

Last month, fellow UP team OCTA Research released a forecast saying coronavirus infections in the Philippines may hit 40,000 by end-June. While DOH figures last June 30 indicate COVID-19 cases nationwide only reached over 37,500, this does not take into account the backlog of cases yet to be validated by then.

RELATED: 'Congratulations, Philippines': Roque says the country beat UP's COVID-19 forecast

The team likewise projected earlier this week the number of infections in the country may jump to at least 60,000 by July 31.

When asked how long would it take before the number of COVID-19 cases nationwide finally goes down, Health Spokesperson Ma. Rosario Vergeire said it seems the virus will be here to stay a while longer.

"Kung tayo pong lahat ay makakasunod dito sa mga measures na sinasabi natin, magkakaroon po tayo nitong araw na darating na mako-control po natin siya, bagama’t sinasabi natin, hindi pa matatapos ang virus na ito, mukhang matagal pa natin siyang kasama," she said in Saturday's Laging Handa virtual briefing.

[Translation: If we all follow (health) measures as prescribed, there will come a day where we can finally control it (from spreading), although we've (frequently) said this virus isn't over and it will be sticking around for a long time.]