A research group said Thursday that an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the country is possible as the holiday season nears.
“Aware rin naman tayo na pagdating ng holiday season, mayroon na ring fatigue ang mga tao kaya gusto na rin nilang lumabas, at puwedeng magkaroon ng uptick sa mga cases sa bansa(We are aware that during the holiday season, people are experiencing fatigue so they also want to go out, and there can be an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the country.),” Dr. Guido David of the OCTA Research Group said.
“Pero ang importante ay mabilis ang response natin para kung magkaroon man ng kaunting uptick sa cases, hindi na ito lalala pa at hindi na magkakaroon ng surge (But the important thing is that we should respond quickly if ever there will be a slight increase in the number of cases so it will not get worse and there will be no surge),” he added.
David added that the responsibility to manage and maintain the current downward trend in the country’s COVID-19 situation is now in the hands of the public through ensuring that minimum health protocols are strictly being observed.
Even as the cases in the country further decreased, David said that the safety guidelines such as the wearing of face mask and face shield and physical distancing should remain in place.
The OCTA Research fellow also bared that the team is pushing for the continuous enforcement of the general community quarantine in Metro Manila until the end of the year to avoid the possible increase in the number of cases come Christmas Day.
“Kung hindi tayo naka-GCQ until the end of the year, magiging mas out of control na tayo pagdating ng December. Ang gusto natin ay may kaunting balance pa para ma-control pa rin ‘yung crowding sa mga malls at public places especially this holiday season (If we do not continue the GCQ until the end of the year, the situation might be out of control by December. What we want is a little more balance to still control the crowding in malls and public places, especially this holiday season),” David said.
Should the downward trend continues, David said that the GCQ might end next year and the region will be ready for the most relaxed community quarantine.
According to David, the overall trend of the COVID-19 situation in the country is in a good path as the active cases continue to decline.
This was also noted in some areas identified as “high risk” which, he said, are already improving.
Based on its latest monitoring report released Wednesday, areas identified as high risk by the group are Makati City, Malabon City, Baguio City, Itogon and Tuba in Benguet, Lucena City in Quezon, Iloilo City in Iloilo, Catarman in Northern Samar, and Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur.
According to OCTA, these LGUs were listed as areas of concern due to the high number of cases recorded daily, high COVID-19 attack rate, and the high hospital occupancy in their communities.
However, while the situation in some of these areas is improving, David reminded local government units to continue monitoring the areas where cases are slightly increasing to control immediately and avoid further surge.
“Patuloy pa rin nating gawin ang mga ginagawa natin ngayon para hindi magbago ang trajectory. Kailangan strictly sinusunod natin ang mga health protocols. Huwag muna tayong magpabaya at maging pasaway (We will continue to do what we are doing now so that the trajectory will not change. We must strictly follow health protocols, we can’t neglect these),” David said.