Dabawenyos told not to lower their guard vs COVID

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 October) — Dabawenyos should not lower their guard against COVID-19 as the positivity rate here remains higher than the “acceptable” rate of 5% although the number of new daily infections has stabilized, the spokesperson of the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force said.

Dr. Michelle Schlosser told the Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) last Friday that the city’s daily positivity rate has gone down to 15% from around 30% in the previous months.

“Although we’re seeing our cases persistently going down, we should not be complacent about the minimum public health protocols because before we can say that we have managed our cases is when we can reach the acceptable positivity rate of 5%,” she added.

Muslim residents gather at the Barangay 23-C gymnasium for the COVID-19 vaccination rollout for Muslim communities in different parts of Davao City on Wednesday (8 September 2021). Mindanews photo

Based on the data released by the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao on October 16, the Davao Region posted 319 new cases out of the 2,361 specimens processed, recording a positivity rate of 14%. Davao City, considered as the center of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mindanao, recorded 131 new cases, bringing its total cases to 52,268 as of Saturday with 4,264 active, 46,356 recovered, and 1,648 died.

Schlosser asked the public to get vaccinated, this being the most effective way to protect oneself from the virus. She said the city has sufficient supply of Comirnaty, the anti-COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech.

Last September 20, Mayor Sara Duterte asked the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to stop sending CoronaVac of Sinovac and Sinopharm to this city due to the “low acceptability of the people” for these brands of anti-COVID-19 vaccines produced by China.

Duterte told the national government to focus on procuring more US-made Moderna and Pfizer’s Comirnaty.

On October 6, the region received 994,500 doses of Comirnaty, the largest shipment of anti-coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines in one day since the rollout began here last March 5, from the US Government through the COVAX Facility. As of October 16, the region has received a total of 4,483,220 doses of anti-COVID-19 vaccines.

Schlosser said the vaccination hubs of City Health Office (CHO) have been accommodating walk-ins while the city has opened “Bakuna Nights” in San Roque Central Elementary School in Barrio Obrero, NCCC Mall Buhangin, and SM City Davao in Ecoland to accommodate more vaccinees.

“The reason why we are accepting walk-ins is because of the fact that we have enough allocated vaccines, particularly Pfizer. Apart from the latest arrival, we have received half a million from last week,” she said.

She added walk-ins must bring their IDs and DQR for registration at the vaccination site.

As of October 14, the City Government of Davao reported 821,395 individuals who have received the first dose and 691,666 or 57.63% of the target 1.2 million are fully vaccinated.

Schlosser said the city has 25 operational vaccination sites.

She said the local government targets to achieve herd immunity by the end of November.  (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)