The University of the Philippines (UP) Octa Research team that monitors COVID-19 trends in the country warned against the 100 per cent reopening of the economy “unless facilities can absolutely guarantee observance of the minimum health standards.”
This is after president Duterte announced that Metro Manila, which accounts for most of the country’s COVID-19 cases, would remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) despite optimistic projections from Octa and the Department of Health that the curve was already flattening.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez has also appealed for the full reopening of businesses to allow the economy to recover faster from losses due to the pandemic.
According to UP Octa Research’s Dr. Butch Ong, the downtrend in the reproductive number and positivity rate for COVID-19 was “encouraging, but it can surge anytime.”
“By the first week of October, if the positivity rate further reduces, perhaps we can ease restrictions but for now, we cannot say because at any time there could be a slight increase or uptrend in the cases,” he added.