MANILA – ‘Small waves’ of increases in COVID-19 cases are possible in the Philippines until the last quarter of 2022, an expert said Monday.
Professor Jomar Rabajante of the University of the Philippines (UP) Pandemic Response Team said this is due to waning immunity and the increasing mobility of Filipinos.
The Philippines on Sunday recorded 2,560 new COVID-19 cases, the fourth straight day that new cases breached the 2,000-mark.
“Dito sa trend na ito, for example next week makita natin medyo bumabagal na yung trend ‘no ng ano, new cases, hindi dapat tayo makampante, kasi sa aming nga projections, yung mga simulations na ginawa namin, yung ganitong pag-increase, bababa, tas increase, bababa, posibleng magtuloy-tuloy itong mga small ripples na ito until the last quarter of 2022,” Rabajante said.
(If, for example, we see a decline in new cases next week, we must not be complacent, because based on our projections and simulations, this increasing-decreasing pattern, these small ripples may continue until the last quarter of 2022.)
“Parang meron tayong makikitang mga small waves like this sa mga susunod na buwan. The main reason is siyempre, mobile na yung population natin, open na yung borders natin from abroad, may mga dumadating, may mga umaalis na Pinoy, and also nagwe-wane yung immunity natin kasi we know na medyo matagal na yung mga, yung iba hindi pa nagpapa-booster shot,” he added.
(We see small waves like this in the coming months. That's because our population is now more mobile and borders are open. Some Filipinos are leaving, some are coming back, and immunity is waning because some have not gotten their booster shots yet.)
The professor said government must not resort to lockdowns in order to curb these small spikes in COVID-19 cases.
“Hindi na tayo dapat bumalik sa 2020. Tayo ay 2022 na, papunta ng 2023, dapat yung mga natutunan natin before, mai-apply na natin,” he noted.
(We must not go back to the ways we fought COVID in 2020. It's 2020, going on 2023, we must apply the lessons we have learned.)
Instead, schools and workplaces must be made safe for students and employees, he said.
“We need to have healthy and safe schools, kasi mag-o-open na talaga ang DepEd right, and yung ilang mga universities. We need to have healthy and safe workplaces, yung mga ventilation kapag merong mga sakit, kailangan i-isolate.”
(We need to have healthy and safe schools, because schools and universities are opening. We need to have healthy and safe workplaces, we need to have proper ventilation and isolation facilities for the sick.)
“Hindi lang kasi ito about COVID, lalo na ngayon may dengue di ba? ‘Di ba may mga posibleng ibang, flu, mga sakit in the future, yung mga healthy practices natin, kailangan ma-maintain,” he said.
(This is not just about COVID, we also have dengue now. If other diseases emerge in the future, we need to maintain our healthy practices.)
--TeleRadyo, 18 July 2022