GenSan docs worried over sudden rise of COVID-19 cases

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 11 Jan) – The medical sector here has raised concern over the rising new cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the area, which reached nearly 300 percent in the last five days.

Vaccination of senior citizens in General Santos City. MindaNews file photo by ROMMEL G. REBOLLIDO

Dr. Fidel Peñamante, president of the Philippine Medical Association chapter here, said on Tuesday they are closely monitoring the situation in the city in the wake of the continuing build-up of community transmitted infections.

The City Health Office (CHO) reported a total of 123 active COVID-19 cases in the city as of Monday night, a significant increase from just 31 on Jan. 5.

The city has logged 19 or more new daily infections in four of the last five days or from Jan. 6 to 10 after only posting a total of 11 cases from Jan. 1 to 5.

“At this point, it’s not yet alarming but we should consider this as a warning sign,” he said in an interview over dxMD-Radio Mindanao Network.

Peñamante said they already anticipated such a situation following the increased movements and the “high-risk behavior” of residents during the recent Christmas season.

He cited the parties and reunions “here and there” and the presence of children as well as unvaccinated persons in shopping malls and public places during the period.

The sudden rise of COVID-19 infections came about two weeks after the Christmas celebrations or within the 14-day incubation period of the disease, he noted.

Peñamante, a former CHO chief, said they expect the cases to still increase as he cited that “most probably” those who have turned positive were infected by asymptomatic carriers.

He urged residents to be vigilant and take the necessary precautions to prevent another surge of the deadly disease in the city.

“The compliance to the minimum health protocols should be to the letter and mass gatherings should be avoided,” he said.

The city last experienced a surge of Covid-19 cases in September last year, with the active infections reaching over 1,100 and the new daily cases peaking at 191.

The number of new daily infections started to decrease by October, eventually leading to the downgrading of the city’s status to the low-risk level and the easing of the community quarantine restrictions.

The confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city since March 2020 have reached a total of 14,401, with 568 related deaths and 13,710 recoveries. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)