PH experiencing ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 cases – UP expert

Published March 24, 2021, 9:24 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

A member of the University of the Philippines Pandemic Response Team on Wednesday, March 24, said the current surge of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country can be considered a “second wave.”

“Ngayong March, lumampas na tayo sa epidemic peak nung mga around August (2020). (This March, we have exceeded the epidemic peak that was seen around August 2020),” Dr. Jomar Rabajante said.

He explained that there are various interpretations of “epidemic wave.”

“Hindi naman po technical word ‘yung wave at iba’t ibang tao may iba’t ibang interpretasyon dito. ‘Yung iba tinitingnan ang wave ay tumaas tapos bumaba at nag-zero, almost zero tapos biglang tataas ulit. Kung ‘yung titingnan natin na depinisyon ng wave definitely hindi naman tayo nag-zero sa buong Pilipinas. (The wave is not a technical word and different people have various interpretations of it. Others monitor the wave rising then falling to zero, or almost zero then suddenly rising again. If we look at the definition of wave, we definitely did not reach zero in the Philippines),” Rabajante said.

“Pero kung titignan lang natin siya in terms of ilang peaks or major peaks meron tayo, makikita natin na ang una noong August tapos meron tayo na mataas na peak ngayon, so pwede natin isipin na ito ay second wave. Kung ‘yun ang titignan natin visually. (But if we just look at it in terms of some peaks or major peaks we have, we will see that the first wave was in August and then we have another major peak now, so we think that this is a second wave. If that’s what we look at visually),” he added.

Rabajante pointed out that he can in fact say that the country is under a second wave because the country was not able to suppress the first wave of COVID-19 cases in August last year.

“Kung tutuusin kaya natin sana na ma-supress nung tumaas tayo noong August papuntang 2021, kaya natin ‘to ma-supress kung nagkaroon tayo ng ilang mga preventions. (In fact we could have suppressed it when we had an increase in cases in August until the start of 2021. We could have suppressed it if we had some preventions),” he said.

“Tingin ko sa mga nangyayari ngayon, posible talagang ang dahilan sa mga pagtaas natin ngayon ay may mga new variants na mas transmissible. (I think with what’s happening now, it’s really possible that the reason for the increase in cases is the presence of new variants that are more transmissible),” he added.