MANILA - The OCTA Research Group suspects that there may already be local transmission of the Delta variant due to the rise in virus cases in Metro Manila, one of its members said Thursday.
The Department of Health earlier reported 2 local cases of the more transmissible variant in Metro Manila.
"There's a suspicion na may Delta variant na (that the Delta variant is already) involved," Professor Guido David told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
"Ang biosurveillance mga weeks old or even more than 1 month old, we have to assume it's very likely na may local transmission na. We cannot make safe assumptions, we have to assume maybe the worst or close to the worst para makapagprepare tayo."
(Biosurveillance takes weeks or even more than a month, we have to assume it's very likely that there's already local transmission.)
The independent research group projects 8,000 fresh virus cases on Thursday, David said.
Fully-vaccinated individuals will "help mitigate" in the event of an increase in cases, he added.
"Sana i-reprioritize ang NCR (National Capital Region) and Cebu City sa vaccination kasi regions outside NCR pababa na ang cases nila or at least stable na," he said.
(We hope government would re-prioritize NCR and Cebu City because virus cases in regions outside NCR are declining or at least stable.)
Implementing an NCR Plus Bubble to keep out the virus might be too late if there were already local transmission of the variant but it might protect nearby provinces, he added.
The Philippines on Wednesday reported 6,560 fresh COVID-19 infections, the highest this month.
Private hospitals earlier said they can add more beds for virus patients but that they would be short-staffed. The country's oxygen supply is enough but it would need more to battle the Delta variant, the DOH said.