Experts from OCTA Research recommended maintaining the general community quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila in December to secure the projected decrease in COVID-19 cases in 2021.
Interviewed on Dobol B sa News TV on Monday, Dr. Guido David said easing the quarantine classification in the National Capital Region (NCR) in December may delay the improvement in the number of COVID-19 cases.
“Ang position namin ay i-retain na GCQ kasi ang isang problem doon sa pagluwag mas lalo, unang-una, nandiyan pa ‘yung virus,” David said.
“Pangalawa, ‘yung messaging sa mga tao. Parang kung luluwagan natin, ang iisipin ng mga tao is okay na,” he added.
According to David, the OCTA Research agreed with Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire’s statement to ease the quarantine classification in NCR in the first quarter of 2021.
“Sinabi niya ‘yun few weeks ago na maaari nang mag-GCQ ng mga first quarter ng 2021. Ganun din ang pananaw namin,” he said.
“Based sa trajectory, 'yun 'yung sa tingin namin magiging mababa na talaga ‘yung bilang ng kaso. Tapos, okay na ‘yung positivity rate natin, hospitalization natin. 'Yun ‘yung parang target,’ he added.
David however warned that this improvement will be delayed if a surge of COVID-19 cases will happen in December.
He noted that the OCTA Research noticed an uptick in the average number of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila in the recent week. However, he said that the increase is not yet alarming.
“Sa NCR, nag-a-average tayo ng 400 cases per day. Tumaas pa nga e. Last week, 350 cases. Ngayon tumaas ng 400 per day. Ibig sabihin, may kaunting uptick,” he added.
Areas of concern
At the same time, OCTA Research said it has classified the National Capital Region (NCR) and seven other places as areas of concern due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Aside from the NCR, the OCTA Research also listed Davao del Sur, Quezon, Negros Occidental, Pampanga, Bulacan, Misamis Oriental and Western Samar under areas of concern, according to the group’s latest monitoring report.
The researchers also categorized the cities of Makati, Lucena, Batangas, Davao and Pagadian as high-risk areas owing to high cases per day, positivity rate, attack rate, and/or high hospital occupancy for the November 22 to 28 period.
President Rodrigo Duterte will announce the new community quarantine classifications in the country on Monday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said on Sunday. —KG/RSJ, GMA News