OCTA Research Group believes a post-holiday COVID-19 surge can be prevented through strict enforcement of discipline and health protocols.
“While some experts see the post-holiday surge of COVID-19 cases in the country as inevitable, we disagree,” the group said.
“In our view, a substantial relaxation of restrictions and behavior during this season may result in exponential increases in transmission,” they added.
For the Department of Health (DOH), it is important to follow the public health standards as hospitals and laboratories prepare to receive possible COVID-19 patients.
“Nananawagan po kami sa mga pribadong ospital na tumalima sa minamandatong COVID-19 bed allocation… Make sure there is a skeletal force or workforce to ensure the operations continue,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque.
So far, a vaccine is the only visible way to protect everyone.
Of the 51 candidate vaccines under the World Health Organization COVID-19 vaccine landscape, 13 are in the third phase of trials.
Four have applied to the Philippines for clinical trials, but only Janssen and AstraZeneca have received approval from the ethics board.
Vaccination has already started abroad, but 2 health workers in the United Kingdom have had an allergic reaction after being injected with the Pfizer vaccine.
Post-holiday COVID-19 surge preventable – OCTA
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Rontgene Solante, many vaccines cause allergic reactions.
“Normal ‘yan sa lahat ng mga bakuna, ‘pag tinurukan ka, minsan masakit ang katawan mo. But these are tolerable and manageable adverse reaction,” he explained.
“Importante n’yan, we have to communicate these side effects or adverse events, para hindi sila mangangamba,” the doctor added.
While there is no vaccine yet in the Philippines, the authorities continue to emphasize compliance with health protocols.
As of Thursday, the Philippines’ total number of cases is 445,540, of which 27,781 are active cases.
DOST said the trials’ initial sites would be in areas with high COVID-19 transmissions, such as in the National Capital Region, Calabarzon, and Cordillera Administrative Region.