OCTA to DOH: We’re also careful in using the term ‘surge’
MANILA, Philippines — The OCTA Research group said Wednesday it is careful in using the term “surge” but noted that the increase of COVID-19 cases being observed now in Metro Manila can undeniably be considered a surge in infections.
OCTA Research fellow Ranjit Rye said the research group well understands the term “surge,” after the Department of Health (DOH) urged independent experts to be more cautious in making pronouncements about the pandemic situation.
“Kami rin po, maingat din kami sa paggamit ng salitang surge. Naiintindihan din naman po namin. Matagal na rin po naming minomonitor ito,” he told ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
(We are also careful in using the term surge. We understand it also because we have been monitoring the pandemic for a long time now.)
“Kami rin po maingat din kami, pero hindi na pwedeng sabihin na hindi surge ang nakikita natin at alam naman po nila [DOH] ‘yan,” he added.
(We are also careful about it but we cannot say that the increase of cases we are seeing now is not a surge. They themselves know that.)
On Tuesday, the DOH called on independent experts to be more careful in their statements about the pandemic in order to avoid causing panic. The DOH made this remark after Rye said in a public briefing that Metro Manila is “officially in a surge” of COVID-19 cases.
The DOH has maintained that there is no objective basis yet to confirm that a surge of infections has started in the capital region.
Rye, however, noted that OCTA is aware that not all increases in cases can be called a surge and that some can only be called an “uptick” of infections.
“Kahit gamitin natin ang kanilang salita eh, ‘yung pagtaas ng kaso hindi na pwede talagang hindi pansinin. Kaya hindi ko nga maintindihan po bakit tayo nagtatalo sa maliit na bagay na ito. Ang importante, harapin natin ang totoong problema,” he added, noting that Metro Manila is now seeing 1,000 new daily cases compared to 600 cases two weeks ago.
(Even if we use their own words, we cannot overlook the increase of cases anymore. That’s why I don’t understand why we are arguing on this simple matter. What’s important is that we face the real problem.)
“Wala naman kaming away with DOH. Gusto nga naming tulungan sila. Ka-partner namin sila at importante sa amin na maintindihan na seryoso ang sitwasyon, seryoso ang banta at talagang panalo lagi ang hindi lang maingat pero maagap rin,” he added.
(We don’t have a conflict with DOH. We just want to help them. We are their partners. It is important that we seriously understand the situation and the present threat. It is better to not just be careful but to also be proactive.)
The OCTA Research group is urging the government to immediately impose “anticipatory, preventive, and circuit-breaking lockdowns” to stem the imminent spread of the Delta variant. Rye explained that a circuit-breaking lockdown is an early lockdown. He added that OCTA is recommending a two-week lockdown for Metro Manila.
Rye added that while the government is expected to impose lockdowns, it only has to decide when the lockdowns will be imposed, and how long will the lockdowns last.
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