STRICTER BORDER CONTROLS NEEDED TO AVERT COVID-19 SPREAD
The OCTA Research group has recommended “effective and stricter border controls” to mitigate the transmission of the infection “within and between provinces.”
The research group also warned that a fresh surge of COVID-19 spread has started in the National Capital Region (NCR).
“Together with more effective screening and other controls in our ports and airports, this will be crucial to supporting the government’s plans to expand domestic as well international travel in the country,” the independent team of experts said.
At the same time, the group proposed to local government units in the NCR to “monitor an enforce the current GCQ (general community quarantine) limit of 10 persons per gathering in the region and to discourage office parties and other social events, especially as we approach the Christmas season.”
It added that local government units should also issue clearer guidelines on activities for the holiday season in line with the directives of the Department of Health and the Inter-Agency Task Force.
OCTA said that based on available data, “the period of the declining trend in cases observed in the NCR in the past few months has now ended.”
The group urged that given the” real threat of a surge in the NCR,” local government units concerned should start preparing public health systems and personnel as well as increasing health care capacity to deal with the influx of cases in the next few weeks.
The group, however, noted that the surge is still in its “nascent stage” in the NCR, “and it can still be mitigated or even reversed. But to achieve this, we need to act now and act as one collectively.”
In its latest study, OCTA identified the NCR, Bulacan, Isabela, Leyte, Pangasinan, South Cotabato and Negros Oriental as “areas of concern,” due to the spike of cases.