Last week, when Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day were celebrated, newly recorded cases of COVID-19 in Metro Manila rose slightly, according to the OCTA Research Group.
An average of 430 cases was recorded per day from February 13 to 19, 16 percent higher than the average of 370 cases recorded last week, the group said.
Areas with rising cases include Malabon, Navotas, Manila, and Marikina, while Pasay is under surveillance which is under the “high risk” category.
“Maybe, dahilan iyan ng Chinese New Year, may mga celebration, maybe Valentine’s. Although one-day event lang ‘yan mga ‘yan pero these are possibilities kaya siyempre gusto natin makita kung magko-continue ‘yong trend,” said Professor Guido David of the OCTA Research Group.
As a result, OCTA has proposed to slow down the easing of quarantine restrictions.
Based on the simulation conducted by the group, if Metro Manila is hit by the same variant in Cebu, it is possible that the average number of cases will reach 2,400 per day immediately.
“It will take just 36 days para bumalik tayo sa situation noong August na may 2,400 cases tayo,” said David. “Kaya nga mas gusto nating mas calibrated ‘yong easing of restrictions natin.”
Some health experts have retracted their opposition to the loosening of quarantine restrictions to permanently reopen the country’s economy.
OCTA group sees COVID-19 spike in Metro Manila
But he said the government should ensure that the minimum health standards are strictly enforced, especially in public transportation.
“Kailangan nating mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga tao ‘pag sila ay sasakay sa mga public transport, maayos ‘tong mga sasakyan nila, ‘yung pupuntahan nila makakasiguro tayo na maganda ang ventilation,” said pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Anna Ong Lim.
In the event of a COVID-19 spike, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is also ready to assist LGUs.