MANILA — The OCTA Research Group said on Monday it was premature to tighten restrictions over a COVID-19 "holiday uptick" that might only be temporary.
Metro Manila's COVID-19 reproduction rate or number of persons a patient can infect nearly doubled to 0.85 from 0.44 last week. This figure was only at 0.33 in early December, said OCTA fellow Dr. Guido David.
The country experienced a similar "holiday uptick" around December last year, he noted.
“Hindi natin masasabi ngayon na omicron-driven ito dahil nakita rin naman ito last year, siguro sa pagtitipon-tipon ng mga kababayan natin,” David said in a televised public briefing.
(We cannot say that this is omicron-driven because we also saw this last year, probably due to the gatherings of our compatriots.)
“There’s no need to increase restrictions at this time because… it could just be a holiday uptick, which means after the holidays, possibly, bababa rin ‘yong number of cases and positivity rate (could go down),” said David, a University of the Philippines mathematics professor.
He also noted that there is a reduction in the country's COVID-19 testing output as some laboratories closed due to the holidays and the onslaught of typhoon Odette.
“Sa ngayon kasi, hindi pa tayo puwedeng gumawa ng premature intervention kasi hindi pa kumpleto iyong nakikita nating larawan,” David said, adding it would be better to wait until January.
(For now, we cannot introduce a premature intervention because we cannot see the whole picture yet.)
“Kung tumataas pa rin sa January, then we have to reassess iyong situation,” he said.
(If cases are still going up in January, then we have to reassess the situation.)
Video courtesy of PTV