OCTA Research says keeping country under GCQ ''timely'' and ''responsive''
OCTA Research Fellow Butch Ong on Tuesday said the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte not to shift the entire country under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) without vaccine program is ''timely'' and ''responsive''.
“The statement on not opening up or easing restrictions of quarantine is just right because we have seen an increase (in cases). Our reaction is (the decision) is a timely, responsive move,” Ong said during the Laging Handa public briefing.
“When we are limiting the mobility of communities, the number of cases decreases… This is a timely policy decision to minimize the mobility of communities before we experience a surge,” he added.
Ong said when the year started, the trend of COVID-19 cases in the country is flat, but during the weekend there was an increase of cases in Metro Manila, Cebu, Baguio and the Nnorthern provinces.
Ong said the entry of the UK variant was attributed to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the country.
“As we have seen in the last few weeks, we already have an entry of the UK variant and based on study this is more contagious… So this is one of the factors we attribute why the cases are increasing,” he said.
“Second, a lot of people are now going out so mobility is also a factor,” he added.
Ong said they are disregarding the new cases came from the post-holiday surge.
He said the reproduction rate is not yet alarming but the government should take proactive measures to bring down the transmission rate which went up from 1.0 and is now at 1. 22.
He added as long as proper measures are implemented, the spread of COVID-19, especially the new variants, can be controlled.
“Wear mask, social distancing, wash hands, and limit the exposure to public in less than 30 minutes... Now we have another measure which is the entry of vaccine… With the health measures, we can bring down the (reproduction rate) within a week or two,” Ong said. Ella Dionisio/DMS