“Right now it’s official, we are in a surge dito sa (here in the) National Capital Region (NCR).”
OCTA Research fellow Prof. Ranjit Rye made this assessment on Tuesday, July 27, as the independent research group reported that the average number of new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Metro Manila now almost at 1,000.
“Hindi pwedeng baliwalain ito. Hindi pwedeng hindi pansinin itong pagtaas (This cannot be ignored. This increase cannot just be ignored),” Rye said in a televised public briefing.
“Kapag humampas tayo ng mga 2,000, mararamdaman na talaga ng ating mga ospital (When we hit about 2,000 cases, our hospitals will really feel it),” he added.
OCTA fellow Prof. Guido David noted that they have been seeing an increase in the reproduction number of the coronavirus in Metro Manila.
“Nasa 1.33 na. Ngayon, we are average almost 1,000 cases per day (It’s already at 1.33. right now, we are averaging almost 1,000 cases per day),” David said in a televised public briefing.
“Kapag hindi pa ito mapigilan, we need to have a discussion kung ano pa yung mga pwede nating madagdag na restrictions or interventions para mapabagal yung pagtaas ng mga cases (If this cannot be stopped, we need to have a discussion on what other restrictions or interventions we can add to slow the increase in cases),” he added.
David believes that there is a possibility that the increase in cases may be due to the prevalence of the highly transmissible Delta variant, which has already detected in 119 people in the country.
‘Go early, go hard’
OCTA suggest that the government consider imposing additional restrictions such as preventive lockdowns to control the rise of infections and prevent the spread of the variants.
“We should adopt what Australia and New Zealand are doing now, which is basically go early and go hard,” Rye said.
This means that there should be “anticipatory, preventive, circuit-breaking lockdowns,” he explained.
“Kung gagawin natin ito over the next two weeks, hindi lang natin mapapababa ang kaso, hindi lang natin mapapababa yung mga mahahawa at mamamatay, mase-save pa natin yung economy (If we do this over the next two weeks, we will not only reduce the case, we will not only reduce the number of infections and deaths, we will save the economy),” he said.
The expert warned that the country would lose its control of the pandemic if the highly contagious variant would be left to spread in the community without interventions.
“Kailangan nating kalkulahin ang cost. Kung magla-lockdown tayo later sa 5,000 kaso, ilang buwan tayong sarado, ilang tao ang mahahawa, at ilang posibleng mamamatay (We need to calculate the cost. If we lockdown later when we hit 5,000 cases, we will be closed for a few months, people will get infected, and some will probably die),” Rye said.
“Kung maaga tayong magi-enforce ng circuit-breaking restrictions, sa tingin namin sa OCTA mas mainam yun (If we enforce circuit-breaking restrictions early, we think in OCTA that would be better),” he added.