THE Department of Health (DOH) has reported 209 additional cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of infected to 6,087.
In its case bulletin released Saturday afternoon, April 18, the DOH also said that 10 more patients have died, raising the death toll to 397, while 29 others have recovered, bringing the total number of those who have recovered from the disease to 516.
With the continued increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country, the DOH called on owners of businesses selling the basic goods not to take advantage of the situation.
“Kami po ay nananawagan sa ating mga kababayan, lalong-lalo na po sa mga negosyante na huwag nating samantalahin ang sitwasyong ito upang makapang lamang o kumita ng higit sa nararapat,” the DOH said.
“Hindi po nais ng kagawaran na malugi o ‘wag kayong kumita. Ang pakiusap lang po namin ay sana po panatilihin nating tama at patas ang presyo ng inyong paninda,” it added.
The DOH warned business owners who will not abide by the price freeze order of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), saying they will be apprehended.
“Patuloy po ang paghuli ng mga awtoridad sa mga negosyanteng lumalabag sa price freeze na mandato ng DTI,” it said.
Cebu village on lockdown
The health department, meanwhile, expressed support to the decision of the local government of Cebu City to place on "community lockdown" Barangay Luz after a spike in COVID-19 cases in its Sitio Zapatera.
In a televised press briefing, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they believe that the community lockdown is necessary to contain the spread of the virus.
"They were placed on lockdown to ensure that its chances of spreading is reduced. This is why it it is necessary also for residents to just stay in their homes for 14 days," said Vergeire.
Last Friday, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella placed Barangay Luz under lockdown after getting 82 new Covid0-19 cases in just a day.
Relative to the lockdown, the health official said efforts are already underway for the massive testing in the barangay considered as the epicenter of the outbreak in the city.
"We will continue with our expanded testing in the area so that we can closely monitor the transmission of Covid-19 there," said Vergeire.
In addition, she said preparations are also underway for the establishment of a community quarantine facility in the barangay.
"We are looking at the Barrio Luz National High School to serve as community quarantine facility so that we can isolate the mild or asymptomatic patients," said Vergeire.
Finally, the official said they have also began conducting contact tracing activities in the village.
"We are conducting contact tracing also so that we can monitor persons who have come in close contact with the confirmed cases," said Vergeire. (Jove Moya, HDT/SunStar Philippine)