UP group says COVID-19 cases in PH by end of July could be higher than earlier prediction

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 9) — A research group that just recently released COVID-19 numbers issued a new study in light of the recent spike in infections.

"Sixty thousand (cases) is for sure a done deal. It looks like it is going to go over 70,000 (by end of July). We’re looking at a possibly higher number sa projection namin [in our projection] because we are clarifying this based on the trends," University of the Philippines OCTA Research Fellow professor Guido David said.

David said the new numbers reflect current changes in the environment.

"Late June, ang trends nun mas mababa pa, yun ang sinunod namin. Pero ngayon bumilis ang trend, yun ang susundan namin sa latest projection," said David.

[Translation: The trends we followed in June were lower. But the trend is faster now, and that's what we followed in the latest projection.]

The group will release a new projection this week.

On June 29, UP OCTA Research said coronavirus infections in the country may surge to at least 60,000, including 1,300 deaths, by July 31.

It said the government needs to reexamine and recalibrate strategies against the pandemic.

“In our view, the aforementioned national and local projections represent a significant increase in transmissions and is a serious cause for concern that needs to be examined and given appropriate and immediate response by the government,” the report read.

It cited the need for “clear targets to measure if strategies are working, such as keeping the positivity rates (below seven percent) and active cases trending down” and an urgent need to scale up health care system capacity.

Citing a Harvard University study, researchers said there should be at least 20,000 tests per day nationwide, and 10,000 in Metro Manila alone.

CNN Philippines' Carolyn Bonquin contributed to this report.