MANILA (UPDATE) - Metro Manila's healthcare capacity is at "moderate risk" in the event of another COVID-19 surge, the Department of Health said Wednesday.
The DOH has different parameters and thresholds than independent research groups such as OCTA, said its spokesperson Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
OCTA Research had proposed a "circuit breaker" lockdown to reverse what it said was the early stages of a virus surge possibly due to the Delta variant in the capital region.
Metro Manila's virus reproduction rate, or the number of people infected by a virus patient, is "more than 1," according to Vergeire.
"Ngayon po nasa moderate risk tayo at binabantayan namin araw-araw," she told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(Right now we're at moderate risk and we continue to monitor this every day.)
"Sa nakikita ho natin ngayon, we’re still managing but as I’ve said very cautious tayo na isang araw makita natin lumagpas ng threshold then we will increase or escalate the restrictions."
(From what we can see right now, we're still managing but as I’ve said, we're very cautious that if it crosses the threshold then we will increase or escalate the restrictions.)
Vergeire reminded the public to continue to follow minimum health standards and to get vaccinated for protection against severe COVID-19.
Early lockdown timing is "very effective" in "saving lives, reducing infection and reducing mortality," said OCTA Research fellow Ranjit Rye.
"Maglalockdown din po tayo, ang tanong lang kailan at gaano katagal...'Pag mas maikli siya, mas hindi masyadong mahal sa ating ekonomiya," he said.
(We will be put under lockdown, the question is when and for how long...If it's shorter, it would cost less for our economy.)
"Di namin gustong lumala ang sitwasyon kagaya ng India. Hindi kaya ng hospital capacity natin kahit nagupgrade na tayo, di ho kakayanin ang mga numerong pinoproject ng aming math team headed by Guido David. Maging maagap tayo bukod sa pagiging maingat."
(We don't want the situation to worsen just like in India. Our hospital capacity even if we had upgraded. It would not stand the numbers being projected by our math team headed by Guido David. Let's be proactive aside from being vigilant.)
The country has so far detected 119 cases of the highly transmissible variant, of which 12 were active infections, Vergeire said.
It tallied 7,186 fresh cases on Tuesday, the highest reported in more than a month due to delays in data aggregation, bringing the country's total to 1,562,420 infections.