DOH-Davao: Spike in Covid-19 cases due to holiday gatherings

A HEALTH official said the recent spike in Covid-19 cases in Davao Region was caused by the recent holiday celebrations.

Department of Health-Davao Region (DOH-Davao) Regional Director Dr. Annabelle Yumang said Christmas and New Year gatherings could have spread the virus between family and friends.

“We have a series of holidays. Christmas and New Year gathering gyod ni siya, dili gyod nato malikayan na ang mga pamilya mag tapok-tapok,” said Yumang during a virtual press conference on Monday.

(During the holidays – Christmas and New Year – it was unavoidable for families to get together.)

She added that during these gatherings between friends and family, minimum public health standards were often overlooked.

“Diha makita nato na duna gyod pagtinakdanay in kaso man nga dunay usa or duha nga wala pa nahibal-an kay usually, makita nato sa mga kaso asymptomatic,” said Yumang.

(During these kinds of gatherings, there is really a risk of transmission because there could be one or two individuals who are unaware that they are carriers of the virus because they can be asymptomatic)

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said Davao City is bracing for a possible surge of cases mid-January.

“Ang atoang cases wala na siya nagababa wala pud siya nagataas. Continuing ang atoang (Our cases are not decreasing or increasing. We are continuing our) preparation for the upcoming surge, which will come probably [in the] third week or fourth week of January,” Duterte-Carpio said during an interview with the Davao City Disaster Radio in January.

She added that the city is preparing for the possible surge by following the “prevention, detection, isolation, treatment, reintegration, and the management of the dead” strategy.

At the beginning of December 2021, Davao Region saw a steady decrease of active cases, dropping to as low as 169 on December 31, 2021. However, as the holiday season concluded, the number of active cases rapidly increased in January.

In the latest data of DOH-Davao, the region currently had 662 active cases, as of January 9, a significant increase from 226 cases on January 5.

According to Dr. Rachel Pasion, unit head of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of DOH-Davao, the 662 active cases are composed of 415 asymptomatic cases (62.7 percent), 215 (32.5 percent) are mild, 28 (4.2 percent) are severe while 4 (0.6 percent) are in critical condition.

“The cumulative number of Covid-19 cases in the region, we have a total of 105,067 cases… of which 0.6 percent are active cases or 662,” said Pasion. “Just like what Dr. Yumang said, with these active cases, nakita po natin ang pagtaas ng mga cases after the holiday season.”

Pasion added the Top 10 areas by active cases as of January 8 is led by Buhangin District and Talomo Central in Davao City with 61 cases and 52 cases, respectively, while Tagum City has 52 cases.

Other areas in Davao City included in the list are Sasa District with 41 cases, Bunawan District with 39, Talomo North with 38, Talomo South with 30, and Tugbok District and District B with 19 cases each. Digos City is also included with 23 active cases.

“We are now at Alert Level 2. If you ask us if we will be elevated to Alert Level 3, indicators right now would show that we are still under Alert Level 2. Low risk pa tayo ngayon,” Yumang said.

However, the official emphasized that the DOH-Davao is closely looking into the indicators such as the increase in cases, as well as the health care utilization rate.

“We will be on Alert Level 3 if there will be an increase in the number of cases as well as in the hospital bed utilization rate, critical care utilization rate.”

As of January 8, 2022, there are still 61.5-percent available intensive care unit beds; 68.6-percent isolation beds, 78.6-percent ward beds, and 68.1-percent available mechanical ventilators.

Pasion, however, said as early as last week, hospitals and facility management were convened to be given information about the possible surge in cases and the need to activate and sustain the operation of hospitals and Covid-19 facilities in anticipation for the coming surge. (With PIA-Davao)

SunStar Davao

SunStar Davao

SunStar Davao is Davao City's most sought after community content provider in both print and online. It is part of the SunStar news network in the Philippines. Sun.Star Davao started as a bi-weekly newspaper Peryodiko Dabaw in December 1985 by Elpidio G. Damaso as the so-called alternative press during the end days of the Marcos dictatorship. It started publishing five times a week the following year and was relaunched as Ang Peryodiko Dabaw on September 7, 1987, marking the entry of new investors and its use of desktop publishing, while its Davao City competitors were still using letterpress.

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