Resonableng maituturing ang target na makamit ang herd immunity bago magpasko, partikular sa Metro Manila at walo pang high-risk areas, ngunit maaaring magbago kung ang Delta variant ng coronavirus disease (COVID-19) ay kumalat sa komunidad, ayon sa research fellow ng OCTA Research group nitong Linggo, Hunyo 27.
“Given the numbers, our hope to reach herd immunity at least in the NCR (National capital Region) Plus 8 by Christmas is reasonable. Again, this does not take into effect the Delta variants. So the Delta variant arrives and things will change,” ayon sa panayam ni molecular biologist-priest Nicanor Austriaco sa Teleradyo interview.
Binubuo ang NCR-plus ng COVID-19 “high-risk areas” pinangalanang Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Pampanga, Batangas, Metro Cebu, at Metro Davao.
“What we’ve noticed over the past year and a half, we have a surge when there is a new variant. If there is no variant then things come down and that’s what you are seeing now. You are seeing a coming down after the arrival of the Alpha and Gamma variants, which are the British and South African variants. So now we have to protect ourselves from the Delta variant,” punto ni Austriaco.
“The numbers for the NCR Plus are looking excellent. We have recovered from the surge but the question is the threat of the Delta or the Delta Plus. I think this is something that the government is going to examine. It’s not just how good are we now but we have to be ready in case the Delta or the Delta Plus arrives,” aniya.
Ayon sa kanya ang Delta variant, na unang na-detect sa India; at Delta Plus variant, na lumitaw sa Nepal, ay nakita na “more transmissible.”
Bukod sa pagiging “more transmissible”, Sinabi ni Austriaco na ang Delta Plus variant “shows vaccine evasion” ibig sabihin ito ay “resistant to some of the vaccine.”
“The Delta variant is now the most common Delta version but the Delta Plus version that arose in Nepal is slowly growing also,” aniya.
Habang wala pang ebidensya na ang Delta o Delta Plus variants ay nasa komunidad, hinimok ni Austriaco na magpabakuna na ang mga Pilipino laban sa COVID-19 para maging protektado mula sa mga variants.
Nabanggit din ni Austriaco ang kahalagahan ng pagpapatupad ng mahigpit na international travel protocols upang maiwasan ang pagpasok at pagkalat ng Delta variants sa komunidad.
“It is absolutely essential to protect our borders at this time. The 10-day quarantine is 99.7 percent effective. Many other countries are even doing 14 days which is 100 percent effective,” ayon kay Austriaco.
“It’s important they [OFWs] go to quarantine especially our kababayans (countrymen) who are returning from India and other hot Delta areas. Hopefully, we maintain the 10-day if not the 14-day quarantine for them,” dagdag niya.
Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz