OCTA: No sustained increase in COVID-19 cases after elections

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 17) — The OCTA Research group said there was no sustained increase in COVID-19 cases following the May 9 elections in the country.

In a briefing on Monday, OCTA Research fellow Guido David noted that since campaign rallies started in February, they have not seen any sustained increase in COVID-19 infections.

May nakikita tayong spikes pero maliliit lang iyon at nawawala agad,” he explained. “So far, wala pa naman tayong nakitang indication na may clustering of cases dahil doon sa recent elections natin.”

[Translation: We are seeing spikes but these are small and they immediately disappear. So far, we have not seen an indication of clustering of cases because of our recent elections.]

David also said the country’s positivity rate – or the percentage of tested people with positive results – went down to 1.1% from 1.2% in the previous week, which are both lower than the 5% threshold set by the World Health Organization.

The same was also observed even amid the presence of new Omicron subvariants BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1. in the country.

May pagtaas ng kaunti pero hindi naman siya nasustain… It means siguro malakas pa rin ‘yung ating wall of immunity due to vaccines and natural immunity,” David pointed out.

[Translation: There was a slight increase but it was not sustained. Maybe it means our wall of immunity due to vaccines and natural immunity is still strong.]

David said for now, OCTA Research will continue to monitor the situation in the next few weeks, especially with the added risk of new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which could change the trajectory.

He said the country is currently averaging around 200 cases per day and an increase to 250 is not yet significant. If this will reach 400-500 cases, then it will be a concern because this could signify a spike in infections.