Beating UP’s Covid-19 forecast in June a ‘small victory’: Palace

The country only enjoyed a “small victory” when it disproved the University of the Philippines (UP) researchers’ prediction of 40,000 cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) by June 30, Malacañang said on Wednesday.


“We succeeded in the sense that the total number of Covid-19 cases (was) at (37,000) and not at (40,000). It’s a small victory but still, a victory, which means that with behavioral change, we can prevail over the disease,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, emphasizing the need for Filipinos to strive harder to further slow the spread of Covid-19 infections in the country.


Roque’s latest statement came a day after he rejoiced over the Filipinos’ supposed success in taking part to avoid bringing the number of Covid-19 cases to 40,000 by the end of June, as previously predicted by a group of researchers from UP.


As of June 30, the Philippines has recorded 37,514 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 10,233 recoveries and 1,266 deaths.


Not powerless


Roque attributed the country’s success of not hitting 40,000 cases by June 30 to the people’s compliance with the government’s health protocols, which include the observance of strict social distancing, use of face masks, and disinfectants, and constant hand washing.


“We are not as powerless as we think against the disease even if there’s no vaccine and there’s no cure to the disease as of yet,” he said. “So what I was exhorting the people to do is given the mathematical model that we would have the 40,000, we should take steps to not realize the 40,000 and we succeeded, at least in the month of June.”


Following the country’s apparent success to prevent a sudden influx of new Covid-19 infections, Roque said the people would be the ones to “determine how fast the disease will spread.”


“Figures remain at 37,000 and that is the context by which I congratulated the people. And I think we should continue to encourage the people to try to beat the forecast of how much Covid-19 cases we will have,” he said.


The UP’s latest forecast is that Covid-19 cases in the Philippines could go up to 60,000 by July 31.


Roque said he was optimistic that Filipinos would do their part to once again beat UP’s prediction in July.


“We do have (the) means by which to prevent or slow the spread of the disease,” he said. “We should all strive to reduce it as much as possible.”


PH-wide community quarantine ‘worked’


Roque also expressed confidence that Covid-19 cases in the country would not reach 60,000 by the end of July because the imposition of nationwide community quarantine “worked.”


He said the apparent drop in Covid-19 deaths, as well as the doubling and positivity rates of cases, indicates success in combating the new coronavirus.


“All these indicators mean that we must be doing something right, that our lockdowns worked. We’re on track given that there’s still no vaccine and there’s no medicine,” Roque said.


In a televised public address late Tuesday night, President Duterte announced that Cebu City would remain under enhanced community quarantine until July 15.


General community quarantine (GCQ), on the other hand, would be implemented from July 1 to 15 in Metro Manila, Benguet, Cavite, Rizal, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Ormoc, Leyte, Southern Leyte, and Cebu’s Talisay City, Minglanilla, and Consolacion.


Modified GCQ “with strict local action” would be imposed in Abra, Baguio City, Ifugao, Kalinga, Ilocos Norte, La Union, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Isabela, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Angeles City, Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Lucena City, Palawan, Puerto Princesa, Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, and Naga City.


Capiz, Iloilo City, Negros Occidental, Bacolod City, Cebu province, Bohol, Negros Oriental, Tacloban City, Western Samar, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur, Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, and Cagayan de Oro would also be under stricter MGCQ.


MGCQ “with strict local action” will also be implemented in Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao City, Davao de Oro, Cotabato, South Cotabato, Agusan del Norte, Butuan City, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao.


The rest of the country would be under the more relaxed MGCQ.


Source: Philippines News Agency


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