OCTA Research has recommended a stricter quarantine measure in the National Capital Region (NCR) as the research group noted that Metro Manila is in the early stages of another surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases, which could be caused by the Delta variant. 

The group advised both the national and local government officials to speed up testing and contact tracing efforts. 

“We cannot underestimate the Covid-19 uptick because of the possibility that it may be driven by [the] Delta [variant]. At the very least the IATF must contemplate a stricter quarantine status or impose more restrictions in the NCR,” the OCTA said in a statement after the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed 12 more local cases of the Delta variant, pushing the tally to 47. 

The group also reminded the government that the current general community quarantine (GCQ) for NCR is not sufficient to prevent another surge of the virus.

“The current GCQ status without restrictions will not be enough. The key to dealing with this impending surge in cases in the NCR requires timely and appropriate interventions that would include lockdowns augmented by expanded testing and tracing. Let us not wait for the numbers to explode before we act,” the independent research team said.

The Philippines started posting an average of 4,000 to 5,000 new infections daily since March 2021. 

“If Delta is driving this surge we need to crush it  with lockdowns ( localized and regional) and with expanded testing and tracing before it explodes and creates a catastrophic surge. We have a window of opportunity to reverse this surge. Let’s act decisively and collectively. We need to act now,” said OCTA.

Even without an official report yet, the DOH said there is a “premise that there may be ongoing local transmission already” of the Delta variant first detected in October 2020 and crippled the healthcare system in India.  It is now the cause of the surge in cases in Malaysia, Indonesia and Myanmar.  Ronald Espartinez