The OCTA Research group has warned the public on Tuesday, July 27, against dining out and having social gatherings amid the threat of the Delta variant of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a public briefing, OCTA Research fellow Prof. Ranjit Rye stressed that the threat of the highly contagious variant is real, adding that even those vaccinated could still get infected.
“Wag na munang masyadong mag social gathering, kumain sa restaurants, at magtipon-tipon (Don’t engage in social gatherings, dine out at restaurants, and hold mass gatherings),” Rye said.
“Kasi malaki ang posibilidad na mahawa kayo, lalo na pag kayo ay di bakunado (This is because there is a high possibility that you will get infected, especially if you are not vaccinated),” he added.
He also advised people to get vaccinated to avail the protection that the vaccines provide.
“Added protection iyan. Yan ang long-term solution natin to the COVID problem (That is an added protection. That is our long-term solution to the COVID problem),” he said.
The expert urged the government to consider imposing “circuit-breaking lockdowns” to stem the rising number of infections, now that Metro Manila is “officially in a surge” as average number of cases rose to almost 1,000.
‘Threat is real’
“Totoo yung banta. Sobra siyang nakakahawa (The threat is real. It is very contagious),” Rye said. “Kaya kailangan paigtingin pa natin yung ating pagsunod sa minimum public health standards (So we need to intensify our compliance with minimum public health standards).”
He warned that even those vaccinated could still get infected with the variant and potentially spread it to their families.
“We can solve this problem with a combination of lockdowns, expanded testing [and] contact tracing, and of course the continuation of our vaccination program,” he said.
The OCTA fellow also noted that countries who were able to mitigate the spread of the Delta variant have employed a “go early, go hard” approach.
“Nung mababa pa yung cases, nagpasok ng sila ng mga restrictions. Yun ang sinasabi namin dito sa OCTA (When the cases were still low, they imposed restrictions. That’s what we’re saying here at OCTA),” Rye said.
“Let’s think of more stricter restrictions. Pwedeng calibrated up to severe lockdowns para lang bumaba yung hawaan (It can be calibrated up to severe lockdowns just to get the infections down),” he added.