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MANILA, May 12 (Mabuhay) — The number of daily COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) may drop to around 1,000 should authorities extend the modified enhanced community quarantine until the end of May, an expert from OCTA Research said Tuesday.

Dr. Guido David said the current reproduction number was at 0.65 with an average of fewer than 2,000 cases per day.

“So kung magi-extend tayo, we’re projecting na bababa tayo to almost 1,000 cases per day by the end of May,” David said.

David, however, also said a downward trend in the daily number is also possible if the government lowers quarantine restrictions in a gradual and calibrated manner.

“Pero kung ano naman if we ease restrictions, actually possible rin naman na ma-maintain natin yung downward trend. That’s why we support it,” he said.

“Kasi ang nakikita naman natin basta ‘yung pag-ease natin ng restrictions natin, ‘yung exit strategy natin, gradual and calibrated, baka ma-prevent naman natin ‘yung pag reverse ng trend and ma-maintain pa rin natin ‘yung downward trend trajectory,” David added.

Meanwhile, David stressed the importance of contact tracing to prevent the transmission of the B.1.617 coronavirus variant that first discovered in India.

The Philippines earlier reported two cases of the India variant.

“Ang concern natin is kung kumalat. That’s why important ‘yung contact tracing, ma-check natin kung may mga ibang na-expose dito sa mga nag positive dito sa Indian variant,” he said.  (MNS)