SOCIAL DISTANCING. Residents of Barangay 176 observe social distancing as they queue to receive their first Covid-19 booster shots during the mass vaccinations at MetroPlaza Mall in Bagong Silang Kanan, Caloocan City on Thursday (June 23, 2022). Some 100 individuals received their Covid-19 vaccine in the area.(MNS photo)

MANILA, June 24 (Mabuhay) –Independent monitoring group OCTA Research on Thursday said there is no need for the national government to escalate the alert level status of the country or impose another lockdown amid the rise of COVID-19 infections.

OCTA Research fellow Professor Ranjit Rye attributed the increased COVID-19 cases to the public’s reduced compliance on health protocols, and the entry of the more transmissible Omicron sub variants in the country.

“Ang panawagan namin, hindi naman kailangan mag-escalate ng alert levels, hindi kailangan mag-lockdown. Ang kailangan ng mga kababayan natin malaman ay kumakalat ang virus, kailangan mag-ingat sila, hindi pwedeng mag-kumpyansa, kailangan talagang sumunod sa minimum public health standards, at magpa-boost,” he said.

(Our call is there is no need to escalate the alert levels and there is no need for a lockdown. What our countrymen need to know is that the virus is spreading, they need to be careful, adhere to minimum public health standards, and get their booster shots.)

Currently, the National Capital Region and several other areas are placed under Alert Level 1–the lowest in the alert level system–from June 16 to June 30. Some areas are also placed under Alert Level 2 until the end of the month.

Further, Rye explained that the increasing positivity rate and reproduction number indicates that there might be another COVID-19 “surge.”

“Hindi nakakabahala ang surge. Ang importante ay lagi tayong handa at mindful na meron hong pagtaas ng kaso [kaya] mag-adjust tayo ng onti sa behavior natin,” he said.

OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David earlier said a “weak surge” in COVID-19 cases has started, considering that the seven-day average of new cases in the NCR increased to 212 from June 13 to 19 or 84% higher than the previous week.

David on Tuesday also noted that NCR’s growth rate of COVID-19 cases further increased to 72%, but its hospital utilization rate remains “low” at 22%.

On Wednesday, the country’s active COVID-19 cases stood at 5,113, the highest tally since May 3, 2022. There were also 593 new infections which brought the nationwide tally to 3,697,793.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire also earlier warned that more COVID-19 cases are expected to be recorded in the coming weeks as the country is now seeing another “peak” of infections.(MNS)

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