Mendoza: Flattening of the Curve

The Scribe’s Corner

NO LESS than a member of the University of the Philippines (UP) OCTA Research Team, Dr. Guido David, predicted that the country could experience flattening of the curve of coronavirus disease infections towards the end of September despite the lifting of the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and four nearby provinces in a published report in Philippine Daily Inquirer and aired via ABS-CBN Teleradyo.

However, David warned that even after the curve was flattened, it would still take one to two months before the number of cases will reach a “very manageable level.”

Dr. David based his prediction to the lowering of cases reported by DOH , the reproduction number decreasing and the r-naught (the number of new infections estimated to stem from a single case of the disease) especially in NCR is also decreasing.

According to Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D. from Michigan Medicine, an outbreak anywhere can go everywhere. He continued that we all need to pitch in to try to prevent cases both within ourselves and in our communities.

He further said that if individuals and communities take steps to slow the virus’s spread, that means the number of cases of COVID-19 will stretch out across a longer period of time. As the curve shows, the number of cases at any given time doesn’t cross the dotted line of the capacity of each nation’s health care system to help everyone who’s very sick.

He noted that flattening of the curve is important because if you don’t have as many cases coming to the hospitals and clinics at once, it can actually lower the number of total deaths from the virus and from other causes and, importantly, it buys us time for university and government scientists, and industry, to create new therapies, medications and potentially a vaccine.

All these things will remain predictions if we will not sustain the gains of a long period of quarantine imposed in our places and we do not follow the minimum health requirements the government is asking from us so we can contribute to realize the prediction. This is very important so that our economy can pick up, people can again go to work and the health systems can be strengthened with few people being infected where cure and vaccines for the disease will also be available.

Our DepEd officials keep on reiterating their reminder to our DepEd teaching and non-teaching personnel and the public to strictly observe required health protocols for everyone’s safety. It could be recalled that DepEd announced last week that they would temporarily close the DepEd Central Office (CO) in Pasig City to give way for a complex-wide disinfection and contact tracing activity.

Although all personnel in CO were on a work-from-home arrangement, DepEd services continued as critical operations were functional without any interruption. Financial obligations, salaries and benefits of all DepEd teaching and non-teaching personnel were already processed and promptly paid. Virtual productivity tools were consistently utilized for official and work-related matters.

This Corner hopes that all of these things will be realized soon with our constant prayers and call to action so God will finally liberate us from further malady and sufferings.


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