Expert says new COVID-19 variant may spike PH cases by 15-fold

If the new COVID-19 variant takes over the Philippines’ coronavirus cases, the country needs to prepare its healthcare system.

An expert studying the coronavirus outbreak in the country warned the new variant of COVID-19 – believed to be more contagious than the old variant – might increase the cases in the Philippines by 15-fold.

Dr. John Wong of the health department’s technical advisory working group said that if the new variant would reach the Philippine shores, cases could go up as high as 300,000 by the end of the month.

Wong, who is an epidemiologist and data expert, explained, “With our current r [reproduction rate] of 1.1, 20,000 cases at the beginning of the month will be about 32,000 at the end of the month. But if the variant takes over, the 20,000 cases can become almost 300,000 cases by the end of the month.”

The new COVID-19 variant known as B117 was first detected in the United Kingdom in September.


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