MANILA, May 28 (Mabuhay) — An OCTA Research fellow on Friday reminded the public not to be complacent yet as the community transmission of the coronavirus variant from India can only be determined within a month since its first detection in the Philippines.

“Wala pa tayong naririnig na community transmission ng Indian variant. Ang inaasahan natin dahil nakapasok [ang Indian variant] sa [panahon na] MECQ at ECQ, hindi siya nagkaroon ng community transmission,” OCTA Research fellow Guido David said.

The researcher was referring to the government’s two most stringent quarantine classifications — the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and the Modified ECQ (MECQ).

“Baka hindi siya kumalat pero ‘di natin sigurado. Makikita pa lang natin yan within the next month or so kung may pagtaas ng kaso pero sana hindi,” David said.

He then reminded the public to be careful as this may cause a new surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.

“Pasalamat tayo na hindi pa yan kumakalat dito pero hindi natin masasabi kasi may nakapasok [na kaso]. So kung hindi tayo mag-iingat, baka mabigyan natin ng opportunity na kumalat itong variant,” David said.

For the month of June, OCTA is recommending that the general community quarantine (GCQ) in NCR Plus be retained. NCR Plus is composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and Bulacan. Metro Manila mayors, on the other hand, proposing further easing of restrictions in June.

David said the government is doing a “balancing act” in maintaining quarantine restrictions to curb COVID-19 cases and opening of the businesses to help the economy.

On May 11, the Department of Health has announced the detection of the B.1.617 coronavirus variant first discovered in India on two overseas Filipino workers from Oman and United Arab Emirates.

The DOH also reported that three close contacts of an OFW who was detected with the India variant tested positive for COVID-19. (MNS)

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