By Corina Oliquino

MANILA — German market and consumer data company Statista on its Our World in Data report dated November 2, found other countries in the Asia Pacific region are still battling growing or returning COVID-19 outbreaks.

Statista data journalist Katharina Buchholz said in the corresponding press statement that while Thailand and South Korea have been successful at flattening the curve, countries like Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines are either battling growing infection numbers or returning outbreaks.

“Infection counts in Indonesia and the Philippines, on the other hand, have continued to grow throughout the pandemic. The Philippines could, however, recently flatten the curve somewhat and now exhibit a cumulative case count that is once again lower than that of Indonesia,” the report said.

Statista also noted that Singapore, which saw a major outbreak last April, seems to have their COVID-19 situation under control for now.

Buchholz said that numbers collected by their Our World in Data report show COVID-19 infection numbers are again growing in Malaysia, recently surpassing South Korea’s total number of cases recorded.

Uptick of COVID-19 cases during the Christmas season

In an interview with DZMM on November 5, Octa Research Group fellow Guido David said there could be a rise in COVID-19 cases in the country during the holiday season.

“Pagdating ng holiday season, mayroon na ring fatigue ang mga tao. Gusto na rin lumabas. Puwedeng magkaroon ng uptick, pero ang importante diyan ay kailangan ‘yung response natin mabilis para kung magkaroon ng konting uptick sa cases ay hindi na lalala at hindi na magkaroon ng surge,” David said.

In its latest report, Octa said the number of COVID-19 cases in the country “continues to decrease even with the resumption of the testing services of the Philippine Red Cross” and the reason why the Philippines dropped out of the top 20 countries with most coronavirus cases worldwide.

They noted a decrease in cases in COVID-19 epicenter Metro Manila, with an average of 490 cases recorded per day.

Follow health protocols strictly

In another report by Rappler, David urged the public to continue observing minimum health standards such as handwashing, social distancing and wearing of face masks.

“Hindi pa rin mababago ang pagsunod sa health protocols hangga’t sobrang konti na lang ang kaso,” he said.

David is also optimistic the country’s economy could re-open by 2021 while Department of Health (DOH) Undersec. Maria Rosario Vergeire insisted that the government’s target is for the entire country to be under the least strict modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) by the first quarter of 2021.

Vergeire said it is only possible if local government units will comply with standards on prevention, treatment, and contact-tracing.

As of November 9, the Philippines logged 2,058 additional COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of cases to 398,449.

The DOH also reported 108 additional deaths and 182 recoveries, while the active cases stood at 29,018 or 7.3 percent of the cumulative total infections.

On November 4, the country logged below 1,000 COVID-19 cases for the first time since July 14.

“The relative low report in the new cases is part of the effects of the Typhoon Rolly. We further caution that this decrease may still be observed over the next few days and may be followed by a relative ‘increase’ in newly reported cases in the coming days or week,” the DOH said in a statement, with result based on 147 out of 159 licensed laboratory testing hubs.