Editorial: Taking the pandemic seriously

IT IS mind-boggling that some have decided to take the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) lightly.

There are people who continue to disregard basic health protocols like wearing of face masks or face shields, observing social distancing and washing of hands with soap and water.

However, let us take a look at the numbers.

Here in Davao Region, a total of 301 new Covid-19 cases were recorded from October 4 to 10. This is the second week in a row that the region recorded over 300 new cases.

The region also ended the week with 641 active cases. As of October 10, 2020, this is the most number active Covid-19 cases in a single day.

It should also be noted that while more than half of the active cases are asymptomatic, there has been an increasing number of mild and severe cases. As of October 10, there are 241 mild cases and 52 severe cases. In the past weeks, the share of mild, severe and critical cases have been increasing.

In terms of deaths, Davao Region recorded the most number of Covid-19 related deaths in a single week. From October 4 to 10, 21 deaths were reported.

If we look at the numbers of Davao City in the same week, a total of 239 new Covid-19 cases were recorded. This is the most number of new cases recorded in a single week. This is also the second week in a row the city recorded over 200 new cases.

The city also logged 15 new deaths from October 4 to 10. This is also the most number of deaths recorded in a single week.

Active cases have also been increasing in Davao City for the last five weeks. As of October 10, the city now has 451 active cases. This is also the most number of active cases recorded in a single day.

The increasing active Covid-19 cases put a strain upon our health facilities, which are also catering to other patients with other medical needs. From October 4 to 10, intensive care unit (ICU) beds and ward beds allotted for Covid-19 patients are in the "danger zone." As of October 10, the occupancy rate for ICU beds is at 87.88 percent and 94.33 percent for ward beds.

On the bright side, a total of 260 recoveries were reported from October 4 to 10. This is the most number of recoveries recorded in a single week. However, there are more new Covid-19 cases reported in a week compared to new recoveries. Also if you compare the daily numbers, there has been a higher number of new cases than new recoveries for most days in the last two weeks.

Davao Region is a large region. Davao City is also a large city. Some argue that the number of active cases is small compared to the population of both the city and the region. Hence, questioning the need to follow health protocols. However, that is a misconception that should be corrected.

Due to how infectious Covid-19 is and its effect on the vulnerable sectors of the society, if we do not follow health protocols strictly and not take Covid-19 seriously, more will be infected due to our irresponsible actions. The more people will be infected, the more it will strain the health system. Once the health system collapses, more will die and the disease will continue to spread until it infects everyone in the region or the city.

This is not to cause fear or panic to people. This is to remind us that the Covid-19 pandemic is something that we should take seriously. While we wait for a vaccine, the best thing we can do right now is to be disciplined and follow the basic health protocols.


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