Mayor Sara: Davao City in ‘pre-surge’ COVID-19 level

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 10 May) – Mayor Sara Duterte claimed Monday that Davao City is now under a “pre-surge” level in the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic due to the clustering of cases reported in offices and establishments.

During her program over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), Duterte said that the new active cases that contributed to the increase in COVID-19 infection were detected through regular contact-tracing outside the aggressive surveillance testing conducted in the communities.

She said there was also a clustering of cases in the regional offices of national government agencies in the city.

As of May 9, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao reported 74 new cases in the city, bringing to 14,898 the total number of cases, with 13,686 recoveries and 699 deaths. The current active cases jumped to 513 from 372 cases reported on May 3.

“Is this a cause for alarm? Yes. Is this the surge? According to the presentation of (City Health Office acting head) Dr. Ashley Lopez, not yet. But it seems to indicate that there is a pre-surge,” she said.

Duterte said a surge could be expected if people continue to disregard the non-pharmacological interventions and minimum public health standards such as wearing of face masks and face shields, maintaining physical distancing, and handwashing, in addition to the alternative work arrangements, open window policy for vehicles, and curfew and liquor ban from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.

All of these regulations taken together will reduce cases but once we follow only one or the other, we can expect transmission. The only thing that we need to do now is to make sure that the surge is not abrupt so that our hospitals can handle it,” she said.

She said the decision whether to put the city under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) or modified (ECQ) status will come from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Duterte added that local health authorities would try to stem the rising cases to avoid a stricter community quarantine classification.

The city is under a general community quarantine (until May 31, 2021.

“Hopefully, we can manage to push down our increasing cases here in the city so that we will not go into ECQ or MECQ. I do not think there is one person in our city who wants to put the city under ECQ or MECQ. We’re all in agreement that we don’t want that. We’ve suffered enough. Let’s not allow our suffering to go to waste,” she said.