MORE VAX. National Task Force Against Covid-19 Chief Implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., announces during the launching of ResBakUna at SM San Mateo in Rizal Province on Monday (Aug. 23, 2021), that more vaccines will be arriving within the last week of August — 3 million doses of Sinovac, 1.8 million doses of Moderna, and over 300,000 doses of Pfizer. Galvez said he is happy that many Filipinos are now willing to be vaccinated. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Aug 24 (Mabuhay) — Active coronavirus cases in Metro Manila may reach 60,000 in September if the spread of COVID-19 continues at current rate, a group of experts said Tuesday.

“Ang nakikita natin ay ‘yung active cases natin maaaring umabot ng 60,000. Baka 70,000 mataas na ‘yan,” Dr. Guido David of OCTA Research said.

In a virtual forum Monday, OCTA Research said the surge in COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila may take place in mid-September.

The capital region’s current reproduction rate, or the number of people who become infected from each positive case, is at 1.64, David said.

A reproduction rate of less than 1 means that an outbreak is receding.

As of Aug. 22, the number of active cases in Metro Manila, an urban sprawl of 16 cities that is home to at least 13 million people, is at 36,054.

Since the pandemic began, the capital region logged 620,334 coronavirus infections, of which 8,732 succumbed to the disease.

In the interview, David said his group saw an improvement in Metro Manila’s COVID-19 situation after it was placed under the strictest lockdown level for 2 weeks.

“Nagkaroon ng improvement noong quarantine pero hindi pa tapos ang problema natin,” he said as cases of Delta variant becomes more rampant.

Metro Manila has shifted to modified enhanced community quarantine until the end of August.

Based on the latest genome sequencing released by the Department of Health Monday, the country recorded 466 more Delta cases. Of the figure, 201 of them were found in the capital region.

The Delta variant, which first emerged in India, accounts for 62.47 percent of the 746 samples sequenced by the Philippine Genome Center.

“Ibig sabihin, dominant na talaga siya. Siya na ang pinakaprevalent na variant sa Pilipinas ngayon,” David said.

This comes after new COVID-19 cases in the country reached a new all-time high of 18,332 on Monday.

OCTA Research earlier projected that new coronavirus infections in the country might reach up to 20,000. (MNS)

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