There is talk of a circuit breaker lockdown.
What is a circuit breaker ‘lockdown’?
A circuit breaker is short, temporary and time-bound. It is enacted with the intention of reducing the R0, briefly, hence, slowing down transmission and delaying peak in infections.
For those interested, there is a published article that is a good read on how ‘circuit breaker’ lockdowns can avert subsequent surges. The link is provided here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7750327/.
As the Delta Variant outbreak looms, and with rising cases seen in major cities in the country, instituting an early and short lockdown can avert surges similar to what is being seen in our neighboring countries and globally. As the SARS-CoV-2 evolves in variants, we need to be one step ahead of curtailing its transmission. And because man is the first and final host, averting transmission in the community is vital at addressing surges.
Doing it early and more impactful clearly allows economies to return to normal states earlier as well rather than implementing a lockdown much later when cases are high, hospitals and healthcare are overwhelmed, and majority of the people are scrambling for life. Whatever economy is salvaged will be futile when lockdowns are declared very late.
Clearly, a circuit breaker has an objective, and an endpoint. It also provides a guide to people on what to do.
It is divided into phases and has a timeline. The phases are meant for a country to move forward while knowing when to step back. It is a map of how the government intends to address the pandemic. It puts into the map when the ‘circuit breaker’ is reinstitute based on parameters or indicators of imminent outbreaks or surges. In short, it is a rational way of addressing how we contain surges in order to save lives and help the economy prosper at the same time.
It may not be a perfect model, but it is a rational one.
In the meantime, the Health Agency reports 4,478 new cases today. The shocker is that this is data for a little less than 35,000 tests done on July 26 (with 4 laboratories not reporting), the positivity rate is an astounding 15%! That means that for every 100 people tested, 15 end up as positive.
New deaths announced are 84 and the case fatality ratio for outcomes is at 1.81%.
Based on the Tuesday report and today’s report, the cases that were reported yesterday most likely included cases that were unreported over the weekend accounting for the over 7000 cases on a day where a little over 30K tests were done and a positivity rate of 13.2% only.
The NCR is back in the lead with 25% of the total cases for today. Most likely the other data from regions outside of NCR are late or have had less testing done as seen in the lower testing output for July 26.
Among provinces, Cebu continued to lead with lower cases, followed by Ilocos Norte and Laguna.
On an LGU level, ten of 17 LGUs in the NCR are among the top 20 cities with most cases, with Quezon City, Makati City and the City of Manila in first, second, and third, respectively.