Editorial: Rapid increase in July

FROM July 5 to 11, the Department of Health in Davao Region (DOH-Davao) reported a total of 146 new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the region. This is higher than the 90 new cases recorded the previous week (June 28 to July 4).

Since DOH-Davao started to release data on testing on June 29, a total of 4,952 individuals have been tested from June 29 to July 12. Of this number, around 4.7 percent or 232 have tested positive for the Sars-CoV-2, the virus causing the Covid-19.

Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio also acknowledged that there has been a spike in the number of new cases in Davao City since July 1. Data from DOH-Davao showed that Covid-19 cases in Davao City increased by 29 percent to 562 on July 12 from 435 on July 1.

Data from DOH-Davao also showed that cases in other provinces in the region also showed a spike in Covid-19 cases. Comparing data between July 1 and July 12, Davao Oriental recorded the highest increase at 96 percent, from 24 to 47. Davao del Norte saw a 44 percent increase in total cases from 50 to 72. Davao del Sur noted a 38 percent increase from 21 to 29 while Davao de Oro recorded a 35 percent increase from 31 to 42. Only Davao Occidental had no increase in new Covid-19 cases. The province still has four reported cases, two of which have recovered and one has died.

Data from DOH-Davao recorded a total of 222 new Covid-19 cases were recorded in the region from July 1 to July 12. For the whole month of June, only 182 new Covid-19 cases were recorded in the region.

However, it should be noted that the new cases are not all local transmissions. Some of these are returning overseas Filipinos and locally stranded individuals.

Judging by these numbers alone, the Covid-19 situation in the region is concerning.

Sadly, DOH-Davao has neither released a statement nor organized an online press conference explaining why there has been a rapid increase in Covid-19 cases in the region. For a pandemic, DOH-Davao is frustratingly silent. They have a duty to properly explain the numbers to the public but they are barely doing so. Their infographics have improved but are unable to provide much context about it.

Hopefully, the DOH-Davao will be able to explain what is really going on in the region as soon as possible.

With the increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases in the region, we urge the public to continue to observe health safety protocols wherever they are. This means that they continue to wear a face mask, especially in public places or at work; observe physical distancing; regular washing of hands with soap and water; regular disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces; and covering your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing.

If you have nothing important to do, stay at home as much as possible. Only go out for work, food, or medicine.

If we want to control the spread of the disease, we have to help our health authorities and local government by following the health guidelines that are put in place.

Be reminded that we cannot afford another lockdown and GCQ is just a few steps away from an enhanced community quarantine. Another lockdown may mean that more businesses will have to trim their operations and cost cut, which could mean more people losing their jobs.

Let's help one another and at least slow the spread of Covid-19 while we can. The secret ingredient of some nations in combating the disease is discipline. That discipline lies within the people who are living in the area.


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