MANILA, July 19 (Mabuhay) — A bubble composed of Metro Manila and nearby provinces would protect these areas from the COVID-19 Delta variant and allow the economy to continue running, the OCTA Research Group said Sunday.

The Department of Health earlier warned of a possible surge after local cases of the variant first reported in India were found in the capital region and other areas.

The bubble could keep out the more transmissible variant and limit movements to essential travels, said OCTA Research fellow Guido David.

“‘Yung idea naman ng bubble, I think nag-work naman siya a few months ago nung nagka-surge tayo. Kabaligtaran lang ang mangyayari ngayon. Ang bubble natin is designed is to protect NCR Plus from the outside para ‘di makapasok dito basta-basta ang mga variant na yan,” he said.

“‘Pag may bubble tayo at protected tayo dito sa loob ng NCR Plus, di tayo ma-affect from outside at patuloy ang ekonomiya natin.”

The bubble would also not require children to again be prohibited from going outside, David said.

The Delta variant may cause long-term effects of COVID-19 among children, he warned.

“Sa UK, very concerned ang scientists dyan. Kung hahayaan mahawahan ang mga bata, maybe 10 percent magkaka-long COVID,” he said.

The country has yet to record a spike due to the Delta variant but the OCTA Research is concerned about a few areas including Mariveles town in Bataan and Laoag City in Ilocos Norte that are recording a spike in COVID-19 cases, David said.

The Delta variant cases that the DOH recently reported were maybe from May and June, David noted, as transportation and genome sequencing time should be taken into consideration.

“We have to be proactive. Hindi natin pwede hintayin na may makita tayong nagsu-surge na, bago tayo mag-react at mag-respond dito sa threat ng Delta variant,” he said.

The Philippines as of Saturday tallied 6,040 fresh infections, the highest daily tally in more than 2 weeks, resulting in a total of 1,502,359 cases. Of this figure, 47,257 or 3.1 percent are active.  (MNS)

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