MANILA - The surge of Delta variant cases in other countries should serve as a warning to the Philippines, OCTA Research said Thursday.
The independent research group is only presenting data and not being alarmist contrary to the Department of Health's remark, said one of its fellows Guido David.
"We have to take this variant seriously, nakita natin ano ang ginawa sa--parang may warning na nga tayo ano ginawa sa India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam. Sana masunod natin ang mga warnings na nakikita natin sa ibang bansa," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(We have to take this variant seriously, we've seen what it did--we received a warning of what it can do in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam. I hope we can take advantage of warnings in other countries.)
"Nagbibigay lang kami ng perspective namin base sa datos. Sa palagay ko hindi naman kami alarmist. Binibigay namin ang numbers at projections namin based yun sa science."
(We just give our perspective based on data. I don't think we're being alarmist, we give our numbers and projections based on science.)
The DOH had made the statement after OCTA Research suggested a "circuit breaker" lockdown to arrest the spread of the highly transmissible variant, which the country has reported 119 cases so far.
"Ito ang strategy na ginamit natin early this year nung February to March. 'Di naman kami naging alarmist nun. Sinabi namin tumataas na ang kaso, kailangan may gawin na tayo. Nagkaroon tayo ng response a month later," David said.
(This is the strategy we used early this year in February to March. We weren't alarmists then, we said cases were increasing so we need to do something. We responded a month later.)
Healthcare utilization is also a "lagging indicator" as it takes several weeks for a virus patient to get hospitalized, David added.
"'Pag tumaas ang healthcare utilization ibig sabihin madami na ang mga kaso, kasi di naman agad-agad nahohospitalize ang mga cases," he said.
(When healthcare utilization rises, it means there are already many cases because patients aren't hospitalized right away.)
"Umiiksi na ang window natin if magpatuloy itong increase ng cases baka next week nasa 2,000 na sa NCR from 1,000."
(Our window is decreasing because if cases continue to rise, maybe next we have 2,000 daily cases in NCR from 1,000.)
Private medical facilities have noticed a steady increase in cases over the past month, said Dr. Jose Rene Degrano, president of the Private Hospitals Association Philippines.
"Palagay ko tama naman po yun na medyo higpitan natin. Masyado silang nagiging reactive, palagay ko dapat proactive sila, i-anticipate na nila na talagang tataas, hindi yung every time laging reactive sila. Para bang pag dumating na tsaka lang gagalaw," he said.
(I think it's right to tighten restrictions. Government is being too reactive, they should be proactive and anticipate that cases will rise and not be reactive every time. It's like they only respond when it's right in front of them.)
Degrano earlier said private hospitals can always add more beds but would lack manpower to take care of patients.
The Philippines on Wednesday tallied 4,478 fresh COVID-19 infections as the country logged its highest positivity rate in nearly 3 months, according to DOH data.
The additional cases pushed the country's total coronavirus infections to 1,566,667, of which 54,552 or 3.5 percent were active.