OCTA sees 2,500 new COVID-19 cases daily in NCR by March

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 27) — As people start being "complacent" despite the presence of new COVID-19 variants, a health expert on Saturday warned that the capital region may record "2,500 or more" new cases a day before end-March.

Dr. Guido David of OCTA Research said the situation in Metro Manila was "very concerning" as the region has been recording 900 cases of the virus a day for the past two days.

"The last time we were getting 900 cases per day [was in] October," he said during a virtual briefing, noting that the rate of increase was similar to Cebu City, Mountain Province, and Benguet.

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OCTA is expecting to record "2,500 or more cases" a day in the region before the end of March if the capital fails to dampen the spike in cases, Dr. David stressed.

If this will happen, he warned that the healthcare system may be overwhelmed anew.

The increase in cases was not attributed to holiday gatherings—such as Christmas Day, Valentine's Day, and even Chinese New Year—but to the public's complacency despite the threat of new COVID-19 variants.

Dr. David reiterated that Filipinos still have to observe minimum public health standards

"Ganyan din sinabi natin nung December. Hindi tumaas nung holiday because sumunod 'yung mga tao. Pero ngayon, mas complacent na ata 'yung mga tao kaya nagco-contribute 'yun sa bilang ng mga kaso," he said.

[Translation: We said the same thing in December. The number of cases did not rise during the holidays because the people complied. But now, the people are more complacent so that contributes to the increase in cases.]

He also noted that the presence of new variants may have caused the surge.

"Pero may isa pang possibility, 'yung UK variant, or iba pang variants. May possibility na may variant na nag-spread dito dahil 'yung rate of spread ay masyadong mabilis," Dr. David said.

[Translation: But there is another possibility, the UK variant, or other variants. There is a possibility that there is a variant that spreads here because the rate of spread is very fast.]

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