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Too early to predict surge in COVID cases – OCTA

By: - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 05:34 AM May 31, 2022
Dr. Guido David, OCTA Research fellow. STORY: Too early to predict surge in COVID cases – OCTA

Dr. Guido David, OCTA Research fellow (Screengrab from Pandesal Forum-Kamuning Bakery Cafe Facebook Live)

MANILA, Philippines — There are several factors behind the slight uptick of cases in Metro Manila and some parts of the country, but it’s too early to tell if there will be a surge in infections, a member of the Octa Research team said on Monday.

Speaking at the Laging Handa public briefing, Dr. Guido David said that with cases in the country increasing only slightly, it was usually difficult to determine specific factors behind it.

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The Department of Health on Monday reported an 8.8-percent increase in the average daily cases to 188 as it monitored 1,317 COVID-19 new cases from May 23 to 29.

“It’s possible that it’s because of mobility and possibly waning immunity. And another main factor, to our view, is the new subvariants that have been detected in our country,” David said, referring to the more transmissible Omicron BA.4 and BA.2.12.1 subvariants.

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“Right now, it’s too early to tell what will be the effect [of the subvariants] because there are a lot of factors here, like [the state of] our wall of immunity—it’s one of the major factors,” he said.

Case trajectory

David said the presence of subvariants would definitely be a factor if a surge should occur, such as what happened in the United States as well as in South Africa. He noted that both areas were supposed to have a “wall of immunity” due to their high vaccination rates.

For the Philippines, however, David said he was not sure, adding, “for now, it’s still too early to determine the trajectory [of case counts] that we will be seeing in the next two weeks or even next month. I mean, it’s still possible that this uptick will dissipate, the number of cases will go down. It’s also possible that the uptick will just continue but just moderately. And it is also possible that it will go on and the cases will rapidly increase. We’ll see, we wish that won’t happen.”

David also pointed out that the areas with rising cases were “not consistent.” Over the past week, he said Tarlac and Negros Occidental provinces saw more cases, but in the prior week, it was Palawan and Agusan del Norte.

—WITH A REPORT FROM TINA G. SANTOS

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TAGS:  Guido David, COVID-19 surge, OCTA Research
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