Lobaton: Missing links on Omicron

Lobaton: Missing links on Omicron

THE Omicron variant was known as the culprit that has caught us by surprise when it tripled the number of cases in two weeks. The number of detected positives has grown exponentially in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces in Region 3 and 4A.

On Monday, January 10, the country recorded more than 33,000 cases, while on Tuesday, January 11, recorded an additional more than 28,000 cases.

I wonder why the Department of Health (DOH) could simply attribute this situation to the Omicron when there are fewer carriers detected for the past few days after the genome sequencing. To make it safe, Secretary Francisco Duque, added the holiday gatherings of Filipinos as one of the reasons for the surge.

Before this situation, we enjoyed the decline in the number of cases starting in the third week of October up to the end of December last year. Other countries are already experiencing the surge due to Omicron and we continue to receive updates into the variant.

We thought it could not bring us into a surge if we base it only on what we count and monitor after the genome sequencing.

Dr. Guido David of the Octa Research Group had seen the change in the figures early on and the positivity rate in Metro Manila. Without taking a conclusive stance, David hinted on the possible driver on the rise of cases, which is for our experts to discover.

However, data suggest that should Omicron be one of the reasons, it could not create a sudden rise considering that only a few were detected. Of course, we can agree to presumptions that everything is possible not based on anybody's term but the novelty of the coronavirus.

This is one example that our authorities failed to connect what they've monitored and the real situation.

I entertain that while results on genome sequencing are delayed, many have already carried the Omicron and spread them into the wider population.

Based on reports, the Omicron possesses multiple mutations or can be transmitted three to five times more than the original variant, hence, this all is happening.

I remember last year from August up to the third week of October, the health department detected some Delta cases. The results also came late at the height of the surge, and what follows is the reported deaths among our friends and relatives.

It seems like death is becoming a normal event at that time. It felt like death is too near to us that it could knock on our doors and victimize a member of our family.

Recently, we were given a break just to celebrate the holidays but we are again alerted to prepare for another situation like what is happening in Metro Manila.

How we wish our government learned some lessons along the way especially amid surges like that of the Delta last year.

Now, we have the Omicron and we lack the proper "science" to base the government's declaration and explain the surge in Metro Manila and other parts of the country. There is a missing link that our figures and interpretations failed to supply guidance. Thus, we resort to actualizing the situation first and think about the phenomenon that had caused the problem later.

This is telling us that we are still too far in terms of looking at this pandemic in a more scientific way. The health department should consider this as one part of our health experience subject of future research. I hope it will not fall into the forgetfulness of our authorities.

Sadly, we are still struggling in this situation. We can only hope that we will survive another round of surge in the provinces and we can feel that the government is there beside us.

Other than our government particularly the health authorities, we have no other entity to depend with for survival.


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