A UP OCTA Research Team member on Wednesday warned that the country’s Covid-19 caseload could reach the 500,000 mark by yearend due to a holiday surge.

According to Dr. Butch Ong, the country’s curve has been steadily rising since the second week of December.

“Biglang tumaas talaga iyong reproduction number. Therefore, it is possible na we might reach the 3,000 to 4,000 new cases per day,” he said in a Laging Handa briefing.

The country has recorded 464,004 Covid-19 cases as of Dec. 23. To reach the half-milion mark, the country has to average more than 5,000 new infections daily until Dec. 31.

“Well, at the start of December, actually, we already had an upper and a lower limit sa projection namin. Ang upper limit ay nasa 500,000 ang total cases… So, actually it is still possible talaga na makamit natin ang 500,000 at the end of December or at the start of January,” Ong said.

However, Octa’s Prof. Guido David said it was not necessary to enforce more stringent lockdowns to control the rising number of cases.

“And nakikita naman natin na kaya nating mapababa iyong cases even without MECQ kasi nagawa na natin ito noong September, October, November. Pero kailangan talaga dito iyong cooperation ng mga tao. Kailangan social distancing, wearing ng face mask and face shield. Limit sa mass gathering,” he explained. John Ezekiel J. Hirro