Editorial: Stricter measures

ON SUNDAY, October 11, active Covid-19 cases in Davao Region hit an all-time high of 691 after 76 new cases were recorded. Of this number, 73 are local cases, while the other three are for verification.

Meanwhile, in Davao City, active cases also hit an all-time high of 499 after 66 new cases were recorded. This is also the most number of new cases recorded in a single day in the city.

October 11 data from the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) also showed that the occupancy rate for intensive care unit and ward beds allotted for Covid-19 patients are already nearing full capacity. Occupancy rate for ICU beds is now at 84.85 percent and 84.62 percent for ward beds.

The hospital caters to Covid-19 patients from both Davao City and the rest of the Region. It also attends to non-Covid-19 cases from all over Mindanao.

The recent increase in active Covid-19 is worrying but expected considering that restrictions have been eased since the region was placed under a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ). It is worrying in the sense that any more increase could further strain our local health system, which has already been struggling as it is right now.

Therefore, it was not surprising that the City Government of Davao greeted residents of the city on Monday, October 12, with Executive Order No. 55.

The order enforces a 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew on individuals and seeks to regulate other activities effective October 15, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

The EO states there is a need to "pre-empt the increase of cases due to after-work non-essential during the Christmas season."

"Ang atong curfew is curfew sa tao. Wala'y curfew sa establishments. So kamo na mag-decide based sa assessment sa inyohang business. But we encourage na mag-adjust mo sa inyohang operating hours," Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said during an interview on the Davao City Disaster Radio on Monday.

Likewise, a liquor ban has been reinstated but based on the current executive order, it only covers drinking in public spaces "every day at any given time."

According to the mayor, they based EO 55 on interviews with Covid-19 patients.

The stricter quarantine measure was bound to happen based on the current trend of Covid-19 in the city and the region. If nothing is done now, the Covid-19 situation could worsen in the succeeding weeks and we could possibly face a stricter community quarantine status.

Now that the curfew and liquor ban will be implemented soon and if things do not improve soon, expect that other regulations to limit the movement of people could be implemented. It is not far from possible.

Hence, we remind Dabawenyos to strictly observe standard health protocols like wearing of face masks, regular washing of hands, and observing a two-meter social distancing. Aside from the regulations put in place by the government, our self- discipline can also help slow the transmission.


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