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Experts Predict 11,000 Daily COVID Cases By End of March 2021

Experts Predict 11,000 Daily COVID Cases By End of March 2021

On March 1, 2021, the Philippines recorded 2,105 new cases of COVID-19. From there, the daily confirmed cases continued to fluctuate, but a rising trend is notable. Midway through the month, on March 16, the country reported 5,395 new infections. But this 5,000-plus daily new cases is nothing compared to what the experts predict. 11,000 per day by end of March and 20,000 by mid-April. Why do we still have rising cases of COVID in the Philippines?

OCTA Research: From 8,000 a day to 11,000

When the UP-OCTA Research team announced1 the possibility of 8,000 daily new COVID-19 cases by end of March, it was already higher than their previous prediction which was 6,000 confirmed daily infections.

Now, they have an even more concerning announcement: the figures could increase to 11,000 per day by end of March 2.

Representatives of the UP-OCTA Research team said that from the reproduction rate of 1.95, it’s now 2.03, which means an infected person can now infect two more people.

If the cases continue to spike, experts warn the public that they can see 20,000 daily cases by mid-April.

Authorities blame the new variants and lack of compliance with health protocols

The exact reason behind the rising cases of COVID in the Philippines is unclear, but authorities point to two possibilities: The continued spread of the new, more transmissible COVID variants and the people’s lapses in following the minimum health standards.

Other factors, such as opening more and more establishments for the economy and the surge of coronavirus infections within families may have also given rise to the alarming figures.

COVID fatigue, a type of emotional exhaustion from a year-long lockdown, may also have encouraged people to meet up with friends and family. After all, the pandemic has resulted in anxiety and depression for many people3.

The implications

The rising cases of COVID in the Philippines could push the healthcare facilities and medical front liners to their limits.

Since the surge, various hospitals have already reported that they are nearing their full capacity for COVID cases. If the number of cases doesn’t decrease, health professionals might just have to push for another “timeout,” a period of enhanced quarantine or lockdown.

The last time healthcare workers asked for a timeout to curb the increase in cases was in August of 2020.

rising cases of COVID in Philippines

As of this writing, 40 of 149 hospitals in Metro Manila are already on the verge of being “overrun” by COVID infections. Eighteen are in a “critical situation4.”

Despite many facilities nearing their full capacity, the PH government does not foresee the implementation of a total lockdown. Some municipalities, however, impose local lockdowns where they see increased cases. These localized lockdowns, according to experts, help slow down the coronavirus spread.

Avoid lapses in minimum health protocols

With the rising cases of COVID in the Philippines, authorities are calling for stricter implementation of the minimum health protocols.

These include frequent handwashing with soap and water, proper wearing of a face mask (or double-masking) and face shield, practicing physical distancing at all times, and self-isolation when feeling sick.

We can also do the following to reduce the spread of the coronavirus:

Key Takeaways

  • The rising cases of COVID in the Philippines can reach up to 11,000 per day by end of March.
  • Experts believe the rising cases of COVID in the Philippines are due to the more transmissible variants.
  • Left unchecked, healthcare workers might push for another timeout.
  • The government doesn’t foresee total lockdown despite hospitals nearing their full capacity.
  • Authorities call for stricter implementation of health protocols to reduce COVID-19 spread.

Learn more about Health News here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

1) Philippines
https://covid19.who.int/region/wpro/country/ph
Accessed March 18, 2021

2) New OCTA forecast: COVID-19 cases in PH may hit 8,000 a day by end-March, 18,000 by mid-April
https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2021/3/14/new-OCTA-covid-projections-march-april.html
Accessed March 18, 2021

3) PH daily COVID-19 cases could hit 11,000 by end-March, 20,000 by mid-April – OCTA
https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2021/3/16/PH-daily-COVID-19-cases-hit-11-000-end-March–20-000-mid-April-.html???
Accessed March 18, 2021

4) Psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7444468/
Accessed March 18, 2021

5) Gov’t says no lockdown even as hospitals start hitting full capacity
https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1407429/hospitals-hitting-capacity-govt-says-no-lockdown
Accessed March 18, 2021

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated Mar 19
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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