‘Let's not waste our gains’, say experts on possible holiday surge in COVID-19 cases

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 1) — A slight increase in COVID-19 cases during the holiday season may be “inevitable”, but what needs to be avoided is a surge in infections, according to the OCTA Research team.

Prof. Ranjit Rye of OCTA Research told a Laging Handa briefing that the opening of the economy and the overcrowding of places can cause the increase in cases.

“Hindi naman nangangahulugan na magkaka-surge tayo, ‘yon nga ang kailangan nating goal," he said. "Okay lang tumaas nang kaunti ‘yong mga kaso, tumaas siya slowly. Inevitable po ‘yan. Pero ‘yong surge, hindi automatic po ‘yan.”

[Translation: It doesn’t mean that there will be a surge, which should be our goal. It is okay for the cases to slightly rise or slowly. That is inevitable. But the surge is not automatic.]

Rye added that the public should not be complacent as he warned that cases in the country can climb up to 500,000 by the end of the year if health protocols are not consistently enforced.

“Tatlong buwan na tayong disiplinado," he stressed. "Tatlong buwan na tayong pababa. Huwag natin sayangin ‘yung gains.

[Translation: We have been disciplined for three months. Cases have been decreasing for three months. Let us not waste our gains.]

In a recent report, OCTA said that for the monitoring period from Nov. 17 to 23, some areas were considered to be high-risk including the cities of Makati, Baguio, Lucena, Batangas, Davao and Pagadian, as well as the municipality of Capas in Tarlac.