MANILA - The recent spike of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila is not a cause for concern, the OCTA research group said Sunday.
The group earlier reported that the capital region's daily average cases for the last week of June was up 5 percent.
"We're not concerned about spikes in cases. Hopefully, next week, pababa na ulit ang trend sa NCR (National Capital Region)," Prof. Guido David told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(Hopefully, next week, NCR's trend declines.)
"That's why, it's very important ang contact tracing and testing in place kasi ito ang tools natin sa (because these are our tools during the) pandemic so we can control these small spikes."
He reminded those who have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine not to be complacent because their level of protection is still low.
"Tayo, yung mga na-vaccinate na, we should take care din, follow guidelines para hindi natin ma-cause yung surge, kasi ang tatamaan, yung mga naka-first dose pa lang and yung mga unvaccinated pa. So, let 's continue on following the health protocols," David said.
(We who have received the vaccine should still take care and follow guidelines so we won't cause another surge, because those who only had one dose, as well as the unvaccinated people can still be infected.)
But the group is "slightly concerned" about the possible rise in COVID-19 cases in areas affected by the Taal Volcano's recent phreatomagmatic eruption following evacuation activities, but this cannot be helped, according to David.
"Generally, nako-control naman ito (These are controlled). After these evacuations are over, usually nagkakaroon ng spike (there are spikes), but it’s something we can manage," he said.
The number of COVID-19 cases in areas of concern such as Iloilo City, Davao City, and Bacolod City are "slowing down", but not yet decreasing, said David.
Baguio City has also seen an increase in its hospitalization rate, currently at 70 percent, David added.
"Di naman ganun kabilis ang pagtaas sa Baguio City. It's just concerning mostly because ang hospitals nila ngayon are close to critical levels. They're above 70 percent occupancy," he said.
(The increase of cases is not that fast in Baguio City. It's just concerning mostly because their hospitals are close to critical levels. They're above 70 percent occupancy.)
The country will achieve a "low-risk" classification according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when its average daily attack rate (ADAR) is at 1, David said.
The country's current attack rate, or the proportion of the population infected by COVID-19, is at 5, he noted.
"'Pag less than 1 ADR, talagang we're very secure na, na-control na natin ang pandemic. This should happen kahit wala na tayong restrictions masyado, 'pag na-reach natin ang 50 percent population protection," he said.
(If we have less than 1 ADR, we're very secure already, we've controlled the pandemic. This should happen even if we don't have many restrictions, once we reach 50 percent population protection.)
A total of 2,727,442 individuals in the country have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as government administered a total of 11,016,198 coronavirus jabs. The Philippines aims to inoculate at least 58 million this year to achieve herd immunity.