COVID-19 cases may breach 25,000 next week - OCTA

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 31) — After the country logged its record-high tally of COVID-19 cases on Monday, new infections may even hit as high as 25,000 next week, OCTA Research warned.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' New Day on Tuesday, OCTA Research fellow Guido David said COVID-19 cases will still likely continue to increase a little further before going on a downward trend.

"We could hit 25,000 possibly by next week. But as for the rest of this week, at least we will have several days when we see fairly low numbers," David said.

David said new infections may fall anywhere between 12,000 to 14,000 on Tuesday before the surge hits around 19,000 new cases based on his short-term forecast. He said that his group is not yet seeing daily cases hitting over 30,000 anytime soon.

Health Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire told CNN Philippines' News Night on Monday that new cases in Metro Manila may soon breach the 30,000-mark, with total active cases projected around 83,000. This may further rise to 152,000 active cases in the capital region by the end of September.

"Currently, we have 41,000 active cases in NCR and as I’ve said, we have projected around 83,000 by the end of August so we are looking at right now an average of 17,000 cases a day, a seven-day moving average in the NCR," she said. "So it's August 30 right now, we are talking about double of this 83,000, maybe we can have per day 30,000+ but we have to remember also that there are factors that can improve this kind of situation."

Vergeire cited an improved vaccine coverage, a shorter duration between detection and isolation, and better compliance with safety protocols.

Meanwhile, Vergeire and David both noted that the healthcare capacity in Metro Manila has improved compared to the March surge. However, David warned that now the "likelihood of having an ICU case is twice as likely compared to the previous variants" of coronavirus.

The Department of Health said that almost 14 million Filipinos have completed their vaccine doses as of Tuesday — still far from the government's target of inoculating 70% of the country's 109-million population to achieve herd immunity.

Single-day COVID-19 cases reached 22,366 on Monday, beating the country's previous record of 19,441. It was the fourth time this month that the daily count reached an all-time high.