DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 10 September) – A local health official expressed alarm over the rapid transmission of COVID-19 affecting entire families in the city.
Dr. Michelle Schlosser, focal person for Davao City COVID-19 Task Force, told Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Friday that the transmission of the virus has been widespread, with more cases occurring within households.
She said the local government has noted that this trend is unlike in the previous months when health authorities could detect only one or two close contacts in the household testing positive for COVID-19.
“We have cases from offices but, with our current trend, we have more household transmission. We have entire families contracting COVID-19. That’s how transmissible it is,” she said.
She blamed social gatherings such as reunions, birthday parties, and other family events for the spike in cases within households.
She urged the public to halt physical and social gatherings to stem the spread of the infections.
“We cannot blame the people because it’s been almost two years already since we’ve started battling the COVID-19. But this is not the right time for reunions or gatherings. If you truly love your families and friends… If you miss them, you can reach out through social media,” she said.
The official warned that the active Delta variant cases could spread the virus faster.
The Department of Health (DOH)-Davao reported that of 10 additional Delta variant cases were discovered on September 6, three from Davao City, five from Tagum City, one from Pantukan in Davao de Oro, and one from Mati, Davao Oriental.
As of Friday, the region has logged a total of 58 Delta variant, 135 Alpha variant, and 297 Beta variant cases.
If the rapid transmission persists, Schlosser feared there would be more deaths as the hospitals would be unable to handle the number of patients.
“If we continue to have an increasing number of cases, it will overwhelm the facilities, particularly our hospitals like our SPMC (Southern Philippines Medical Center) and DRMC (Davao Regional Medical Center) in Tagum. We cannot deny that hospital beds are almost fully occupied. Once overwhelmed, there’s a bigger chance that we can’t provide medical attention to those who may need hospital care,” she added.
She said the local government has been implementing household lockdowns.
She urged the public to have themselves tested if they are identified as close contacts of an index case.
As of Tuesday, DOH-Davao reported 1,253 new infections, bringing the total cases to 77,372 with 16,905 active, 58,105 recoveries, and 2,362 deaths.
Of the total cases, Davao City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mindanao, logged 41,833 cases with 7,931 active, 32,625 recoveries and 1,277 deaths.
Davao de Oro tallied 5,123 cases, Davao del Norte 13,674, Davao del Sur 8,138, Davao Occidental 2,387, and Davao Oriental 6,217. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)