Indonesia-like COVID surge possible if strict measures are not implemented now, warns OCTA expert

Published July 23, 2021, 12:31 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz


OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David on Friday, July 23, said an Indonesia-like coronavirus cases (COVID-19) surge driven by the more transmissible Delta variant in the country is “not out of the realm of possibility.”

“Pwede tayong matulad diyan [Indonesia]. Hindi yan out of the realm of possibility dahil kahit may mga vaccinated na tayo may konting breakthrough yung infections. (What is happening in Indonesia may also happen here. That is not out of the realm of possibility because even if we are vaccinated, the infections have a slight breakthrough),” David said in a DZBB interview.

“Medyo similar yung situation natin sa Indonesia in terms of level of vaccination and economic situation. Hindi nalalayo na mangyari yun pero syempre yun yung gusto nating iwasan. (Our situation is quite similar to that in Indonesia in terms of level of vaccination and economic situation. It’s not far off that that will happen but of course that’s what we want to avoid),” he added.

David is hoping that more Filipinos will get vaccinated because the level of protection against the disease is high among those who have been already vaccinated.

OCTA also recommended the reimposition of stricter quarantine measures such as longer curfew hours and reducing capacities of business establishments and public transportation to curb the spread of the Delta variant.

“Mas madaling pigilan yung pagdami ng kaso habang konti pa lang kaysa hintayin pa natin dumami kasi last time umabot tayo ng 5,500 [cases] per day sa NCR [National Capital Region]. Ibig sabihin dahil hindi natin napigilan, talagang lumobo yung bilang ng kaso. (It is easier to stop the increase of cases while there are still a few cases. The last time we had a surge we reached 5,500 cases per day in NCR. This means that because we did not stop it, the number of cases ballooned),” David pointed out.

He said Metro Manila is now averaging 850 cases per day from 600 cases per day during the previous week. The reproduction number also continues to increase and is now at 1.21.

“Greater than 1 ibig sabihin niyan wala tayong gagawin ngayon patuloy na tataas ang bilang ng kaso kasi tumataas na yung reproduction number. (Greater than 1 means that if we don’t act now the number of cases will continue to increase because the reproduction number is increasing),” David said.

“Napagpormahan na nga na may local transmission ng Delta variant. Ano pa ba yung kailangan natin para mag alarm tayo dito sa mga nangyayari dito sa atin. (It has already been confirmed that there is local transmission of the Delta variant. What else do we need to sound an alarm about the current situation?),” he added.

The Delta variant has been said to be 50 percent more infectious than other variants and is now becoming the dominant strain in many countries.