According to the OCTA Research group, it has not yet seen a community transmission in the country brought by the COVID-19 variant first detected in India.
“We know that it has been detected in a few cases in travelers who landed in the Philippines but right now we are not seeing a community transmission yet on the India variant based on the numbers,” OCTA Research Fellow Guido David said Thursday.
It is still too early to assess the transmission, at least in the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, said David.
However, they will be observing the situation in areas from other regions that have recently shown an upsurge in COVID-19 cases.
“We don’t think it’s spreading in the NCR Plus,” he said, “but we can’t say for sure if it’s spreading in certain regions where we are seeing a spike in cases.”
It was reported by OCTA that there have been “significant increases” in the number of infections in Davao City, Cagayan de Oro, and Iloilo City over the past week. The highest number of new infections outside Metro Manila was also seen in Zamboanga City.
The Department of Tourism earlier claimed relaxed rules will encourage domestic travel and help the industry recover amid the pandemic. But OCTA cautioned that this could pave the way for increased transmission.
“It’s always good to have some measures in place for border controls,” said David.
He also suggested that the government intensify contact tracing and testing efforts, specifically in areas with high positivity rates. Isolation facilities could also be scaled up, in coordination with local government units, he added.