The OCTA Research group on Sunday, July 18, called for the implementation of stricter border control for Metro Manila and nearby provinces amid the growing threat of the feared Delta variant of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
OCTA Research fellow Prof. Guido David said that placing the so-called National Capital Region (NCR)-plus areas under a “bubble” could prevent the entry of the highly transmissible variant in the region.
“We have to be proactive. Hindi natin pwedeng hintayin na may makita tayong nagsu-surge na bago tayo mag-react at bago tayo mag respond dito sa threat ng Delta variant (We can’t for a surge to happen before we react and before we respond to the threat of the Delta variant),” David said in an interview over TeleRadyo.
The Department of Health (DOH) announced the detection of 16 new cases of the Delta variant, 11 of which were considered as local cases.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the 11 local cases have been detected in Northern Mindanao, Western Visayas, Metro Manila, and Central Luzon.
Enforce NCR+ ‘bubble’
The research fellow explained that enforcing a bubble covering NCR-plus areas would protect the region from the variants coming from outside and allow the wheels of economy to continue rolling.
“Ang bubble natin is designed is to protect NCR-plus from outside para ‘di makapasok dito basta-basta ang mga variant (Our bubble is designed to protect NCR-plus from the outside so that those variants cannot enter),” David said.
“Kung may bubble tayo at na protect natin ang sarili natin like a shield, pwedeng patuloy pa rin ang ekonomiya natin sa loob ng NCR-plus (If we have a bubble and we protect ourselves like a shield, our economy can still continue within NCR-plus),” he added.
Meanwhile, DOH-Technical Advisory Group Member Dr. Anna Ong-Lim underscored anew the importance of imposing strict border control.
“I agree, border controls are important but how do we coordinate it? Ang bubble is one way na coordinated yung border controls natin (The bubble is one way that our border controls are coordinated),” David said.
“Kapag may bubble tayo at protected tayo dito sa loob ng NCR-plus, hindi tayo ma-affect from outside at patuloy ang ekonomiya natin (When we have a bubble and we are protected within NCR-plus, we will not be affected from outside and our economy will continue),” he added.