Davao residents warned virus positivity rate remains high

Davao City residents queue for Covid-19 vaccine at the People’s Park on November 29, 2021 during the kick-off of the Philippines’ intensive national vaccination program against the virus. Davao City aims to vaccinate 49 thousand of its residents daily for the 3-day run of the Covid-19 vaccination. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 03 February) – Residents should not lower their guard as the positivity rate of COVID-19 in the city remains high despite seeing a continuous decrease in the number of daily new infections since last week, an official of the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force warned on Wednesday.

Dr. Michelle Schlosser, task force spokesperson, told Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Wednesday that the latest positivity rate here decreased to a daily average of 32% compared with the previous weeks’ daily average of 48% to 50%.

She, however, the public must remain vigilant because while seeing a downtrend in new cases is a good sign, the latest positivity rate remains way above the 5% threshold considered acceptable by the World Health Organization.

She said the city still experiences the post-holiday surge.

“The only time that we can say that the surge is over is if we will have a positivity rate of 5% below,” she said.

Schlosser said the City Health Office remains wary that the city will see yet another surge of cases if people become complacent about observing the minimum public health standards.

She said a downtrend will depend on the people’s behavior and cooperation in the fight against COVID-19.

“At least, we have seen a decrease in cases from last week. For us in the City Health, we cannot be too confident because we need to remain vigilant as cases can go up any time,” she added.

She said following the minimum health protocols and getting vaccinated are effective against COVID-19.

“It’s been proven that vaccines can protect against the infection and more importantly, against the severity of the disease,” she said.

She said the local government is targeting to vaccinate the entire eligible population of the city after hitting the target number of 1.2 million to reach “herd immunity.”

As of January 18, the city reported 1,276,123 individuals vaccinated with the first dose, 1,216,990 fully vaccinated, and 136,526 having received booster shots.

The Department of Health-Davao reported 347 new infections in Davao City, bringing the total cases to 69,682 with 5,675 active, 62,158 recoveries, and 1,849 deaths.

Schlosser said the city is allowing home isolation as facilities at the government-run Southern Philippines Medical Center, private hospitals as well as, some temporary treatment and monitoring facilities are full, and other isolation facilities in schools are “at high risk.” (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)