A healthcare worker performs a swab test on a vendor at Pritil Public Market amidst the new surge in Covid cases around Metro Manila. (Photo from Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)
By Tracy Cabrera
MANILA — The University of the Philippines independent OCTA Research Group warned that the daily cases of Covid-19 could reach as high as 16,000 if infections continued unabated.
Amid the rising cases of Covid-19, government offices such as the central office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) in Intramuros, Commission on Elections, and the National Police Commission (NaPolCom) in Quezon City are all undergoing disinfection and cleaning activities to curb the transmission of Covid-19.
Aside from its central office, DoLE offices in BF Condominium and its satellite branch in Antonino Building on T.M. Kalaw Street in Ermita are also under lockdown after three employees tested positive for Covid-19.
Due to these circumstances, DoLE likewise designated a skeletal workforce in its other offices until tomorrow, 19 March 2021. The Comelec will reopen on March 23, Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the NaPolCom disclosed that its personnel has opted to work from home whilst receiving personnel will be assigned at the ground floor of the building to accept documents that need immediate processing.
The OCTA Research has estimated the current daily case count to reach 6,000 by the end of March then surge up to 16,000 in the second week of April, particularly if the public continues to be complacent about the coronavirus threat and if the government will not impose tighter restrictions on international travel.
A recent comparative study by the group noted that Metro Manila has logged an average of 370 daily cases in the second week of February but this has jumped on the following month to 2,226 cases per day.
The average reproduction number in Metro Manila also went up from 1.07 to 1.96 which means one Covid-19 patient can infect two individuals.
OCTA added that it has yet to assess if the implementation of unified curfew hours and the ban on minors can help reduce or slow down the development of new Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila.
“I think it’s a conservative approach but anything that will help reduce mobility will have an impact in reducing the number of cases or slowing down the trend.” OCTA’s Dr. Guido David concluded. (AI/MTVN)