OCTA Research sees Covid-19 repro rate to slow down by mid-September

OCTA Research fellow, Dr. Guido David predicts the Philippines may have to deal with as much as 20,000 daily cases of Covid-19 before reproduction rate eventually slows down by the middle of September.

In a Laging Handa press briefing on Monday, Dr. David said the expected spike in cases will be due to the highly transmissible Delta variant, and the effects of lockdowns won’t manifest at once.

“Usually, it takes three to four weeks before we can see the decrease of cases. But we can already see the decrease on reproduction number or the transmission of infection,” he said.

In Metro Manila which was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on August 6 to 20 and modified ECQ starting Augusy 21, David said Covid-19  transmission has slowed down from 1.47 to 1.0.

Going by David’s estimate, the transmission will slow down and cases will decrease by the middle of September.

For now, however, David said the country’s Covid-19 cases is expected to further rise, “but since we reached 19,000 a day, it could increase to more than 20,000 new Covid-19 cases per day, given that our reproduction number is still greater than 1 nationwide,” adding that breaching the 30,000 mark daily is not possible.

OCTA Research professor Ranjit Rye, for his part, said the imposition of the two-week ECQ greatly contributed to the reduction of Covid-19 transmission and slowed down the reproduction number.

Rye reminded the public though on the need to strictly follow minimum public health protocols like wearing mask, face shield, social distancing and frequent hand washing. He also said stressed that vaccination will help control the surge of Covid-19 cases.

Rye noted that the highly contagious Delta variant is a big factor in the increase in Covid-19 cases in the country, so our advice is: “Don’t go out if it’s not really needed.”

On Monday, DOH reported 22,366 new cases which hiked the active tally to 148,594, or 7.5 percent of the total 1,976,202 infections since last year.