THE OCTA Research Group said that COVID-19 infections in the National Capital Region (NCR) may take a new surge starting next week.
The group hinted of a possible 10,000 daily new cases, based on a projection which took into consideration more confirmed cases in the NCR alone.
In a statement, Octa researchers cited an alarming figure pegged at 1.15, which means 10 COVID-19 positive individuals may infect 11 other persons.
Octa said that the Delta variant must have triggered the spike in the virus productivity rate.
Interviewed over television, Octa fellow Professor Guido David urged the government to seriously consider the re-imposition of strict protocols if only to ensure that the virus does not compromise public health and safety.
The solution, he said, is for the government to recall earlier easing of restrictions, before it’s too late.
“I think kailangan natin bawiin ang mga pagluluwag sa restriction. In fact, last week, we already suggested that the NCR be placed anew under a Bubble for strict border control. Mahalaga kasi to protect our borders. But right now, before having a surge or an increase in cases, baka huli na yan,” David was quoted as saying.
According to David, this week may in fact be yielding 8,000 COVID-positive cases, adding that the reproduction number of coronavirus cases in Metro Manila is now considered high risk.
“We are expecting na today, baka magka-8,000 cases tayo na marereport [nationally]. Medyo mataas ‘yan,” David averred.
He noted that in Metro Manila, for instance, the average number of new COVID-19 cases was 600 last week, which increased to 800 this week. He added that Metro Manila’s reproduction number, or the number of cases estimated to stem from a single case, is now 1.15.
“The fact that it’s greater than 1, meaning nasa high risk na ‘yung reproduction number. Ibig sabihin bumibilis ‘yung pagtaas ng cases,” David said.
David also said that while further genome sequencing has yet to confirm if the Delta variant is driving the increase in cases in Metro Manila, there is a “big possibility” that the variant could be one of the factors in the rise of infections.
He also underscored the need to prioritize Metro Manila and Cebu City in vaccination.
“Sana mapabilis natin ang vaccination sa NCR. We really need it now. Sana i-reprioritize ang NCR sa vaccination, maybe NCR and Cebu City kasi dito may urgency. Sa ibang regions outside NCR and Cebu area, pababa na rin ang cases nila or at least stable na,” he explained.
The DOH has so far confirmed 47 total cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the Philippines.
As this developed, the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon on Thursday said the country still has a long fight against the COVID-19 pandemic amid the ongoing vaccination.
During a vaccination ceremony in Pasig City, Dizon relayed the statement from NTF chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
“Ang gusto lang ipaabot ni Sec. Galvez at ni Sec. Duque sa ating lahat: Malayo pa tayo sa katapusan ng laban ng ito. Malayong-malayo pa tayo,” he said.
Dizon also announced that the Philippines has already administered 16 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. The country aims to inoculate 70 percent of its around 110 million population to achieve herd immunity.
With a target of 500,000 daily inoculations, Dizon said the country recorded around 350,000 vaccinations a day.
In the NCR, however, the daily vaccination target of 120,000 has been surpassed with around 130,000 to 150,000 average daily vaccinations.
As of Thursday, the NTF said 164 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine has been secured through procurement, while sourcing more shots from the COVAX facility and bilateral donations.
Only 29,985,130 doses have been delivered to the country so far.