Impact of localized lockdowns, curfew to be seen after 2 weeks, says DOH

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A makeshift barricade blocks a street from outsiders to protect a neighbourhood from the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manila, Philippines, March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa

Imposition of localized lockdowns and uniform curfew hours can combat the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country, especially Metro Manila, according to the Health Department and other experts.

Dr. Guido David of the OCTA Research Group said they expect the reproduction number of the virus decrease once the curfew is implemented.

This is echoed by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, however, the long term effects of these measures can only be seen after 2 weeks of its imposition.

“The impact will not be known until after 2 weeks, and so we will have to monitor the situation on-ground. If the surge begins to go down in about 10 to 14 days, or even 21 days, then you can say that the response has been successful,” Duque said.

With the current numbers of COVID-19 infections, OCTA Research group estimates that there can be up to 8,000 daily new cases by the end of the month, and 18,000 to 20,000 by mid-April if the current reproduction rate does not change.

Daily virus cases in Metro Manila alone could reach 5,000 to 6,000 by end of March and 14,000 by mid-April. OCTA Research fellow Guido David explained that the estimate is based on a 1.9 reproduction rate, or the number of people infected by a virus patient.