COVID cases in Davao City still going up

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 27 April)— The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Davao City is still increasing with a daily positivity rate ranging from 6 to 11 percent, a City Health Official (CHO) said on Thursday.

Vaccination at People’s Park in Davao City. Mindanews Photo

Dr. Marjorie Culas, CHO officer-in-charge, said over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) that the positivity rate remains above the acceptable 5-percent threshold of the World Health Organization.

Despite the increasing number of confirmed cases, she said that the city’s alert level 1 status has not changed as the hospitals are not yet overburdened owing to the sufficient number of COVID-19 beds to accommodate patients.

The Inter-Agency Task Force placed Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, and Davao Occidental— along with 22 other provinces in the country—under Alert Level 2 from April 15 to 30.

Based on the COVID-19 tracker of the Department of Health, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Davao City as of April 26 was at 269, comprising 61.7 % of the total 436 cases in the region.

“If we are below 5%, there is no need to worry about. But lately our cases are increasing while the positivity rate is more than the 5% threshold by WHO already,” Culas said.

She added that the vaccination drive against the virus continues at the People’s Park from Mondays to Fridays and at the health districts on Fridays.

According to the DOH, there are a total of 7,643,522 individuals in the region vaccinated against the infection, of whom 3,474,230 are fully vaccinated.

Culas said the situation in the city remains controllable and has not yet reached an “alarming status,” noting that 70% of the positive cases are asymptomatic and the rest are “mild” cases.

She told the public to follow the guidelines on the wearing of face masks in the city.

Although it is now optional or voluntary in most “indoor and outdoor settings,” Culas added that Executive Order 71 issued on December 1, 2022 by Mayor Sebastian Duterte provides it is mandatory in healthcare facilities, including but not limited to, clinics, hospitals, laboratories, nursing homes, and dialysis centers; medical transport vehicles such as ambulance, and paramedic rescue vehicles; and public transportation by land, air, or sea.

Wearing of face masks are highly encouraged for elderly, individuals with comorbidities, immunocompromised individuals, pregnant women, unvaccinated individuals, and symptomatic individuals.

Section 3 states that the minimum public health standards “intended to effectively prevent and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the city shall continue to be implemented consistent with the principles of shared accountability, evidence-based decision-making, socioeconomic equity, and rights-based approach.” (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)