Octa concerned over granular lockdowns as PH 'might lose effective control of pandemic’ | Inquirer News
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Octa concerned over granular lockdowns as PH ‘might lose effective control of pandemic’

/ 09:58 AM September 06, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Octa Research Team expressed concern on Monday over the proposed granular lockdowns in Metro Manila as this may affect the country’s control in halting COVID-19 cases.

“We’re concerned that if this does not work, at a point when we’re actually seeing that the curve might plateau soon in two to three weeks, there’s a chance that we might lose effective control of the pandemic and it will become much worse than it is,” Octa research fellow Dr. Guido David explained in an interview on ANC.

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“We’re not saying it will happen but we’re saying that — you know, based on history — there’s a significant chance that it may happen,” David added.

He noted that granular lockdowns could work in a smaller scale setup and not in areas where there is a surge in cases.

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“Regarding the granular lockdowns in the past, we have not seen evidence that it has been effective when we have a widespread community transmission,” David said.

“Granular lockdowns would work if it’s concentrated in certain regions. For example, if you have only 40 percent of your barangays with new cases, then it’s feasible that you can impose the granular lockdowns and it may be effective,” he added.

The fellow likewise raised that local governments’ human resources should be considered in implementing the granular lockdowns.

“Now, if they’re going to do granular lockdowns on a lot of barangays anyway, it will be manpower intensive because they need people to guard, to man the stations, to bring food to these people who are under lockdown,” David expressed.

For her part, Philippine College of Physicians President Dr. Maricar Limpin mentioned that granular lockdowns may not be as effective as the government sees because some individuals live in a different area from their work.

“Will the workplaces be able to, you know, understand their absence? Because it’s open. The industry is open and therefore, this actually makes it quite difficult for people to really follow the lockdown. They will still go out because they want to be assured that they will still continue to have work,” Limpin said.

According to the Octa’s projection, there might be a peak of around 25,000 new cases next week, then a downward trend would be seen if the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila will be retained for one to two weeks more.

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“We think that we won’t reach 30,000 if we continue with the MECQ at this time because we might see a peak. We might reach 25,000, 26,000 or so cases,” he said.

The MECQ in Metro Manila will end on September 7.

Earlier, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the imposition of granular lockdowns, to replace community quarantine classifications, starting September 8 in Metro Manila.

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TAGS:  Guido David, granular lockdown, Maricar Limpin, OCTA
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