OCTA Research recommends early circuit-breaker lockdown in NCR

Dr. Guido David during OCTA Press Conference last 28 July 2021.

by Emily Manuel
Contributor, Eagle News

(Eagle News) – In a virtual press conference held on Wednesday, 28 July 2021, Dr. Ranjit Rye of OCTA Research stated the group’s position to “go early, go hard” to help save lives and livelihood.

In urging the government to enforce a more stringent lockdown measure, OCTA explained that “hard lockdowns that are implemented when cases are still low and on the rise tend to be shorter and are less costly for the economy.” They say that the current GCQ with heightened restrictions are not enough to reverse the alarming trends.

– Rt to increase in coming weeks –

The Rt in the region currently stands at 1.33 and is expected to increase in the coming weeks. This is driven mainly by the Delta variant.

Dr. Nicanor Austriaco predicts somewhere between 8,000 to  13,000 daily cases in the NCR by end of August, based on the projections from Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand. He also predicts that healthcare utilization rate will reach 70% by middle of August and 100% maximum capacity by end of August. He says, “the longer we wait to act, the harder it will be to halt and reverse the surge.”

The purpose of a two-week circuit breaker lockdown he explains is to “shut down mobility of people so we do not feed the virus”. In addition, the government should continue to implement intensive contact tracing and accelerate vaccination in the NCR “to achieve 30% Delta resilience in the population.”

– Earlier circuit-breaker will be shorter –

Dr. Guido David says that implementing a circuit breaker on August 1 will allow the government to regain effective control of the pandemic in just two weeks. A later circuit breaker in the middle of August will result in high case loads and require a longer lockdown period.