MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Population (POPCOM) fears the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may infect millions of Filipinos in a period of one year if the public will not support the government’s measures in fighting the disease.
In an interview with UNTV’s Get It Straight with Daniel Razon, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary and POPCOM Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III said such estimate is based on the experience of other countries that also suffered the virulence of COVID-19.
“Baka sa loob ng isang taon hanggang Disyembre ay umabot ng 40 to 60 percent ng population ay magkaroon ng COVID-19 [There’s a possibility that come December, about 40 to 60 percent of the country’s population is infected with COVID-19],” Perez warned.
“Pero katulad ng sinasabi nila, 80% ng magkakaroon ng COVID-19 ay walang sintomas or very mild lamang ang symptoms [And like what experts were saying, about 80 percent of the people who may be infected by COVID-19 show no symptoms or just have mild symptoms], ” he added.
Usec. Perez noted the huge impact that the crisis may have on the elderly sector or the senior citizens who are considered the most vulnerable.
“Batay sa bilang namin at ng (University of the Philippines Population Institute) may 5.5 million na senior citizen tayo na dalikado sa ganitong sitwasyon kaya mahigpit ang bilin na huwag silang lalabas ng bahay,” he said.
[Based on (POPCOM) and the UPPI’s tally, the country has about 5.5 million senior citizens who are at risk that’s why we are strictly warning them to stay at home.]
The official also noted that the country’s health system will be greatly burdened if the number of COVID-19 patients reaches 50,000 due to the scarcity of ventilators.
At present, the country has only about 1,500 ventilators, Usec. Perez said.
Another possibility is the rise in the number of unplanned pregnancies which may reach 50,000 to 100,000 if family planning programs will not be implemented during the ECQ.
The Philippines has a current population of 109,236,504 as of Tuesday (April 7) based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data. MNP (with inputs from Rey Pelayo)
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