A group of experts believes that the National Capital Region is in the “early stage” of the COVID-19 surge or re-emergence of cases.
“The OCTA Research Group believes that a surge in its early stages has started in the NCR,” said the OCTA Research Group, which conducts data studies related to COVID-19, in a statement.
According to the group, immediate action is needed by the national and local governments to curb the rise in cases.
They also said that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) against COVID-19 needs to consider implementing stricter quarantine status in NCR because the current general community quarantine will not be enough.
They said that the Philippines should learn from the experience of other countries that have been hit by the surge because it was too late to counter it.
In the OCTA Research Group report, the reproduction number of COVID-19 in NCR rose again to 1.15.
This reproduction trend is similar to the reproduction number trend in February when the COVID-19 surge started.
Metro Manila in ‘early stages’ of COVID-19 surge: OCTA
The Department of Health (DOH) also admitted that the 2-week growth rate in Manila has increased, which means that the number of cases has actually increased.
The DOH and OCTA differ on whether the more contagious Delta variant is the cause of the increase in cases.
“We cannot attribute it yet, na sasabihing Delta variant ‘yan o kung anong variant… may ibang factors like mobility of the population, compliance to safety protocols,” said Health spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.
“Hindi natin masabi as a fact na Delta variant pero we have to keep it in mind na may big possibility na [may] Delta variant involvement dito,” said OCTA fellow Dr. Guido David.
For OCTA, it is not wrong to think that there is already a local transmission of the Delta variant, especially since some samples undergoing genome sequencing have also taken several weeks or months.
On Thursday, the DOH reported that it had detected 12 new Delta variant cases, bringing the total number of Delta variant cases to 47, of which 8 were active cases.