THE surge in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the country believed to be driven by the Omicron variant may take longer than the wave of infections caused by the Delta variant last year, said Octa Research fellow Dr. Guido David on Monday, January 24, 2022.

David said they are hoping that the current surge would end by the end of March or April.

“Medyo matatagalan ‘yung Omicron wave kasi kahit na medyo bumababa na sa NCR (National Capital Region), Cavite, Rizal, pataas pa lang sa ibang lugar at may mga lugar na hindi pa nagkakaron ng pagtaas eh,” he said during a Laging Handa public briefing.

(It might take longer because while the cases in NCR, Cavite and Rizal are slowing down, there’s an increase in other areas.)

“We are hoping na by around March to April ay tapos na ‘yung Omicron wave sa buong bansa natin, which means baka makikita natin na less than 1,000 cases per day, pero hindi pa guaranteed ‘yon,” he added.

(We are hoping that the Omicron wave will end by around March or April, which means that we could see less than 1,000 cases per day, but that’s not guaranteed yet.)

The Philippines experienced a surge in August 2021 due to the Delta variant, which was first detected in the country in July.

The surge was contained sometime in October and the cases decreased from November to December.

However, another surge occurred beginning January 2022 due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant, which was first detected in the country in December 2021.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque said Metro Manila has already reached the peak of the Omicron surge but the wave seems to have just started in provinces outside NCR.

He said the Inter-Agency Task Force will discuss the possible de-escalation of quarantine status in Metro Manila, which is under Alert Level 3 until January 31.

Despite the decline in cases in Metro Manila, David urged the residents to not be complacent and continue observing minimum health protocols to further prevent the spread of the virus. (SunStar Philippines)