AROUND three in every 10 patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus disease in Davao Region have been to the New Davao Matina Gallera (NDMG) cockpit, which has become the “ground zero” of the virus outbreak in Davao City.
The Department of Health (DOH) Davao said that 23 of the 80 positive cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the region have been to gallera.
DOH-Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (DOH-Resu) Davao chief Dr. Cleo Fe Tabada said on Monday that based on the Regional Situation update on Covid-19 in Davao Region as of 8 p.m. of April 6, there are currently a total of 80 confirmed cases recorded in Davao Region with 11 deaths and 22 recoveries.
DOH-Davao confirmed that 23 of the Covid-19 positive patients had exposure to Matina Gallera, 19 had a history of travel from Manila, six had a history of travel from other places, 16 were exposed to people who tested positive for Covid-19, while 16 are still under investigation.
The health department also reported that out of the 11 reported deaths, six patients had exposure to Matina Gallera, two had a history of travel to Manila, one had exposure to a person who tested positive for Covid-19, while two are still being investigated.
Tabada said that 427 people who visited the derby cockpit have been contacted and traced. Of this figure, 139 are from Davao City, 127 are from Davao del Sur, 90 from Davao Oriental, 19 from Davao del Norte, five from Davao de Oro, one from Davao Occidental and 46 from other regions.
DOH-Davao also contacted a total of 1,510 individuals who are not related to those who had exposure to Matina Gallera but had exposure to Covid-19 positive patients.
On Monday, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the cockfight derby could have been prevented should the Business Permit and Licensing Division (BPLD) of the Davao City Government did not grant a permit despite the threats.
Duterte-Carpio also clarified that there was no law violated during the staging of the cockpit considering that it was a private event and they were able to comply with the necessary permit. The derby organizers also secured a resolution from the 19th City Council, which is a requirement before staging the event.
In February, there was an advisory coming from the DOH, warning the public against organizing big events that might cause a transmission. This was also the basis of the City Government for canceling major events in line with the celebration of the 83rd Araw ng Dabaw as a precautionary measure following the threat posed by the virus.
Not yet at the peak?
Asked if the region is already experiencing the peak of Covid-19 cases, Tabada said they cannot ascertain it yet considering that they are not finished with the contact tracing and testing of all the patients under investigation. She said “there’s a lot to do” to say whether the region is nearing the peak or already at the peak.
“If we can find out, if we can test all of them and see the result, we can already see the initial list of positive cases. Katong mga gina trace nato kung makit-an na sila (If we can see all the people that we are tracing) and they have the symptoms and they should be tested, then [we] will find how far we are with the infection,” Tabada said.
When all have been identified, that’s the time they can assess whether the cases are rising towards the “peak.” But she said with the absence of complete data, they cannot conclude the situation yet.
“Dili siya makit-an in a single day or single week. It takes a while to see the whole trend para makabalo ta nga nag peak nata. There are of course calculation and projection. Pero karon kulang ang datus para maka-compute ta or maka conclude ta if either we are nearing the peak or we are at the peak,” Tabada said.
She added, “I think we are still getting cases and increasing. It might not be significant but it seems like we are not yet at the peak. We still need enough information to tell you the actual assessment of the situation.”
For his part, Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) chief Dr. Leopoldo Vega said the implementation of community quarantine and enhanced community quarantine in the city, their facility has been getting few cases every day because of the provisions in place.
“If you take a look at the stats that we have, the new cases for the last several days have been three, four, and then three and then two. You’ll notice that, bumababa talaga ang new number of cases. In other words, pag-isipin mo bakit nangyari ito possibly the virus has not been transmitted because they [the people] are now in their houses, nasa bahay na sila, they’re not moving around. So, there are no new cases which we have seen,” Vega said.
With the fewer cases that they recorded, he assumed that the policies in place by the city government have significantly contributed to the decrease of new cases.
“The enhanced quarantine and the people staying at home so that the virus will not spread, it’s working. This is the only solution. This is the only treatment. There’s no treatment for Covid, the only treatment is just stay home, social distancing, hygiene and that’s it. We can possibly hurdle this crisis,” Vega said.