New variants may have caused COVID-19 surge – OCTA Research

The Research group said Wednesday the two coronavirus variants could have caused the COVID-19 surge in Metro .

According to OCTA’s bulletin on March 1, the reproduction number in the National Capital Region (NCR) is at 1.5. It means the virus is continuously spreading. The experts added the surge, while still in its early stages, has spread “very quickly” in a short period.

“While it is not yet in all cities, we’re seeing that the trend is going up, the reproduction number is above 1 and we feel that the virus is spreading,” OCTA Research fellow Ranjit Rye told a virtual news conference.

“Given that there are variants already identified, we suspect that these two variants may be driving the increase in COVID-19 infections in many of the LGUs (local government units) observed.”

OCTA said Monday it expects that the country’s COVID-19 cases will hit 2,500 a day in the country if the trend continues to increase.

They also projected that the number of COVID-19 cases and related deaths would increase by the end of March if the trend would continue to increase.

New variants may have caused COVID-19 surge – OCTA Research

OCTA said that with the current trend, the daily average of new COVID-19 cases would be 2,200 from its current daily value of 770 by the end of March 2021 “unless the spread of the virus is curbed.”

Moreover, the group added the total number of cases in Metro Manila will increase by 19 percent, projecting the number of cases to reach 280,000 by the end of March, from its current value of 234,754.

On Tuesday, the Department of Health () reported that 6 cases of South African coronavirus were detected in the Philippines.

“The DOH, the UP-Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC), and the UP-National Institutes of Health report the detection of six B.1.351 variant (South Africa variant) cases, 30 additional B.1.1.7 variant () cases, and two additional cases with mutations of interest among the 8th batch of 350 samples sequenced by the UP-PGC,” it said.

The OCTA Research said the “potentially serious surge” in Metro Manila can still be mitigated.