“The Philippines is in trouble,” an American epidemiologist said after seeing the latest Department of Health data on the Covid-19 situation in the country.
Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, also a health economist and a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists, was reacting to the recorded 5,000 Covid new cases for one day, the highest daily tally since August last year.
Ding observed an upward trend in new cases reported from March 10 to March 13 and reminded the public to “keep safe.”
“Worrisome trend in just four days,” the epidemiologist posted on Twitter. “Somehow, it’s usually the places headed by you-know-what type of leaders with these surges these days,” he added.
Feigl-Ding also noted graphs on the country’s testing efforts as of March 12 where the daily positivity rate was at its “highest in seven months” or since August 16 last year.
“A high positivity rate implies that there is transmission happening on the ground and we need to test even more,” Ding said.
The epidemiologist said it’s a “real increase” since the cases were rising despite the Covid-19 testing “not surging.”
Feigl-Ding took another swipe at Duterte’s style of leadership. “Pretty large, almost doubling of cases in just four to five days in another autocratic-led country.”
Dr. Tony Leachon, former special adviser to the National Task Force Against COVID-19, saw the US epidemiologist’s tweet and agreed that the Philippines is in a “huge crisis” despite a year-long community quarantine.
He added that the country needed to do the following in the wake of the continued surge: Have a “quick coordinated response system” that is based on science, strictly enforce restrictions on movement done by authorities and practice “exceptional leadership and governance.”
The Philippines over the weekend was reported to have “the highest number of new cases in Southeast Asia for the second straight day” as it logged 4,899 cases.
The first day was on March 13, when the country logged 5,000 new cases.
A member of the OCTA Research Team said the Philippines might see a surge of daily cases that could reach 7,000 to 8,000 by the end of March, based on the current reproductive rate of the virus.
If the trend continues, the daily tally of new cases might reach 18,000 to 20,000 by mid-April, based on estimates.
OCTA Research said that, based on the experiences of other countries, COVID-19 cases have started to drop after vaccinating 25 to 50 percent of its population against the viral disease.
The country has so far rolled out COVID-19 vaccines by Sinovac and AstraZeneca from China and Britain, respectively.