ON FRIDAY, August 7, 2020, the Department of Health in Davao Region (DOH-Davao) said that there is a possibility that there will be a spike in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the region this month.
This is due to the easing of the restrictions in the different local government units in the region following the extension of the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
For example, the City Government of Davao has decided to lift the implementation of the food and medicine pass (FM pass) and the curfew under MGCQ.
Public transportation, inter-regional travel and air travel have also resumed in the region. This allows the movement of more people. Those who are not from the region may also come and go given that they have complied with necessary documents for travel or have medical clearance.
Given all of these factors, it is not surprising to hear from our health officials and some medical professionals of Covid-19 cases in the region surging this month.
Therefore, our local leaders, health officials and medical professionals are putting their faith in the general public to help turn the tide against the Covid-19.
When the City Government of Davao lifted the FM pass and the curfew, Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio said they want the residents of the city to self-regulate when it comes to observing health safety protocols.
The local government unit and the DOH have been regularly reminding the general public to observe health safety protocols.
"I'm hoping the figures will go down because the people have learned the messages we’ve been putting out day in, day out," DOH-Davao regional epidemiology surveillance unit (DOH-Davao Resu) officer Cleofe Tabada said.
The City Government has also placed two large tarpaulins in front of the city hall reminding Dabawenyos to observe these three simple health safety protocols -- wear face mask properly making sure your nose and mouth are covered; observing a two-meter distance from other people; and regular washing of hands with soap and water.
On top of these guidelines, the general public should also observe other actions that could help in the fight against Covid-19. One of these is filling out the contact tracing form or logbooks properly. This means that you write clearly and not scribble. This is important to help contact tracing teams detect and end the chain of transmission before it gets bigger.
Another is being honest with health professionals and contact tracing teams. This means that do not leave any stone unturned when providing them with information. Your dishonesty can cause a firestorm that could strain our health system.
We must all approach this battle against Covid-19 with self-discipline and a sense of responsibility. We should instill in our minds that our actions could protect someone or may cause them harm.
The Covid-19 is an uphill battle that we have to face. We cannot be dead weight to the people working hard to fight it. If we want to end this as soon as possible or at least slow down the transmission while we wait for a vaccine, we have to work together and cooperate.