An expert of the OCTA Research on Sunday, Aug. 1, said that community transmission of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Delta variant is likely already present in Metro Manila citing the increasing percentage of confirmed cases of the highly transmissible strain.
“We understand that the Department of Health (DOH) is the official body. They are confirming the Delta variant cases through genome sequencing. But for us in OCTA, we are an independent group, we can say that based on statistics, based on sampling, the current tally of Delta variant cases has increased to 25 percent from 15 percent. Actually, it was only 2 percent to 3 percent a month ago,” OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said in a mix of Filipino and English during a Teleradyo interview.
“Based on the 25 percent, we know that cases are still increasing. The increase in the Delta variant is accelerating because one week ago it was only 15 percent. If we follow the 25 percent, that means that the National Capital Region (NCR) on average has 300 new Delta variant cases per day. If there are 300 cases per day, we can say there is already community transmission,” he added.
David however did not say whether or not the Delta variant is fuelling the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.
On Saturday, July 31, the DOH reported 8,147 new cases, bringing the total COVID-19 infections in the country to 1,588,965.
“Even if we don’t have a confirmation (from the DOH) that there is a Delta variant community transmission, it’s better to assume that there is community transmission so we can be doubly careful,” he pointed out, saying that there is “definitely” a surge in COVID-cases in the country.
David said the country’s reproduction is now at 1.52, which indicates that there is a sustained transmission of the virus.
“For me, when it exceeds 1.4, the reproduction number can be considered at a critical level because of the rapid increase in the number of infections,” he said.