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Experts warn of surge to 4,000 COVID-19 cases per day with the holidays

THE OCTA Research Team, which has been keeping track of the countrys coronavirus infection trend, warned the public to strictly observe health protocols to avoid a surge in cases of up to 4,000 per day with the activities during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

In a briefing on Wednesday, Guido David of the OCTA Research Team said the situation remains manageable and there is no need to resort to stricter quarantine rules. He said the critical level to watch out for is 3,000 to 4,000 cases in a day.

“If we have not reached that yet, we do not need to have a modified enhanced community quarantine and as much as possible, we want to avoid the stricter lockdown,” he said in Filipino.

 He noted that COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) cases recently spiked in the capital region Metro Manila along with the neighboring provinces of Rizal and Bulacan, a sign of the holiday surge that they warned about.

“We need to observe the whole region. Not only these local government units but the whole Metro Manila because we know Metro Manila is highly connected, its very interactive,” he said in a mix of Filipino and English.

People visiting their hometowns will also be going back to Metro Manila after the holidays, which could also contribute to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

“It is possible na (that) we might reach the 3,000 to 4,000 new cases per day,” said Mr. David.

The Department of Health (DoH) reported 1,196 coronavirus infections on Wednesday, bringing the total to 464,004.

The death toll rose by 27 to 9,048 while recoveries increased by 564 to 429,972, it said in a bulletin.

There were 24,984 active cases, 81.8% of which were mild, 9.5% did not show symptoms, 5.5% were critical, 2.9% were severe, and 0.32% were moderate.

Quezon City reported the highest number of new infections at 123, followed by Rizal at 84, Manila at 74, Davao City at 54, and Batangas at 49.

The DoH said seven duplicates were removed from the total case count while seven recovered cases were reclassified as deaths. Eight laboratories failed to submit their data on Dec. 22, it said.

Around 6.2 million individuals have been tested for coronavirus in the country, the DoH said in its tracker website. Vann Marlo M. Villegas and Gillian M. Cortez

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