By Phylline Calubayan

PHOTO: HR Promotions

As the COVID-19 reproduction number in the National Capital Region (NCR) dropped to 1.11, it is possible that the Philippines may be at the “end game” of the Delta variant, an Octa Research Group fellow said on Tuesday.

The Octa Research Group, alternatively known as UP-OCTA, is a private polling, researching, and consulting firm based in Quezon City. It was established in 2019, with the main intention to become a polling group. However, with the continuous onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, the group decided to focus on making projections related to the health crisis.

During the Pandesal forum on Tuesday, Octa Research Group fellow Doctor Guido David shared his insights regarding the state of COVID-19’s highly transmissible Delta variant.

“The reproduction number has also decreased. It’s now about 1.11 in the NCR. So, this confirms what we’re seeing that it’s close to now a downward trend,” said David.

“We’re actually very optimistic — well, at least me. My perspective is that based on what we’re seeing in many other countries which have seen the rise and fall of the Delta variant and this includes countries like India and Indonesia, of course now, I think we’re at the what we’d might call the end game of the Delta variant because it’s already starting to decrease,” he added.

The doctor also mentioned that the growth rate in NCR has been negative or below zero over the past few days. 

“We’re seeing several LGUs (local government units) with a negative growth rate… We’re also seeing a negative growth rate… in Cavite, in Laguna, and also in Bulacan,” he said.

He further noted the country’s sufficient COVID-19 vaccination levels and the low death rate for immunized individuals, among others, which he believes may result in better days in the remaining quarter of 2021.