“Let’s beat the UP challenge”—Sec. Harry Roque

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MANILA – Just a few days to go until the projection of UP-Diliman that cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) will reach 40,000 by the end of June, presidential spokesperson Sec. Harry Roque accepted the challenge and appealed to the public for help.

He convivially said during his press briefing on June 23, “let us beat the UP challenge that transmission of Covid-19 will not reach that much until June 30 by strictly observing social distancing, proper hygiene, wearing of facemask and by staying at home.”

It can be recalled that on June 11, the UP Team headed by Profs. David and Rye made a projection that if the situation does not change until the end of the month, the confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country would reach 40,000 with 1,850 deaths. 

They said that if the “R” or the transmission rate of the virus of a country is below 1, it means the said country has flattened the curb, meaning that it has managed the disease effectively.  But if the R is above 1, then that country must be wary because it means transmission and deaths will continue like in the Philippines whose “R” is 1.2.

As of June 23, the country had recorded a peak of 1,150 new cases, bringing the total of 31,825.  With barely six days to go until June 30, Sec. Roque may be right that the country’s cases will not reach 40,000 as predicted by Profs. David and Rye even if there will be 1,000 average daily new cases.

Based on the estimates of the UP professors, this trend means that the country has slowly flattened the curb of transmission towards the desired 1 or lower. For the most part, efforts of prolong lockdown, targeted testing and tracking of suspected Covid positive have somehow succeeded in containing the spread of the virus

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