THE Department of Health in Davao Region (DOH-Davao) recorded nearly 1,000 new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the region within only the first two weeks of October.
Data from DOH-Davao showed that a total of 910 new Covid-19 cases were recorded between October 1 to 17, 2020. This is the highest number of new Covid-19 cases reported in only two weeks.
The region recorded the highest number of new cases in a single day on October 14 with 91.
October 11 to 17 had the highest number of new Covid-19 cases reported in a single week with 451.
Of the 910 new Covid-19 cases reported between October 1 to 17, a total of 663 are from Davao City, 95 from Davao del Sur, 74 from Davao del Norte, 30 from Davao Oriental, 27 from Davao de Oro and 21 from Davao Occidental.
Due to the high number of new cases being reported daily in the last two weeks, active cases have also increased rapidly. Active cases reached the 600-mark for the first time on October 3. This was around a week after active cases in the region reached the 500-mark for the second time on September 26.
In less than two weeks after hitting over 600 active cases, the region breached the 700-mark for the first time on October 14, 2020. By October 17, active cases in the region were at 788.
In Davao City, after staying below 300 active cases for over six months, it went beyond the 300-mark towards the end of September. On October 4, Davao City went beyond 400 active cases for the first time. In less than two weeks, active cases in the city breached the 500-mark on October 13.
The increasing number of active Covid-19 cases in the region and Davao City has resulted in hospital beds for Covid-19 patients at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) nearing full occupancy. The hospital is the primary Covid-19 hospital in Davao City and Davao Region.
Data from SPMC showed that on October 5 and 16, intensive care unit (ICU) beds for Covid-19 patients had an occupancy rate of 100 percent. The occupancy rate for ward beds hovered between 80 percent and 90 percent, the highest being on October 9 at 97.17 percent.
Based on the recent report of DOH-Davao, the two-week growth rate in Davao Region has slowed down to 25.6 percent from 53.6 percent. It also reported slower growth rates for Davao de Oro, Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur and Davao Occidental.
It was only Davao City that recorded an increasing growth rate. As of October 15, the city's current two-week growth rate is at 60.10 percent, compared to the 43.60 percent recorded in the past three to four weeks.
DOH-Davao Assistant Director Lenny Joy Rivera said on Friday, October 16, during the One Davao on Covid-19 virtual presser that the two-week growth rate is a measurement that shows how quickly the number of cases is changing in the two weeks.
While the two-week growth rate in the region has slowed down, the attack rate slightly increased to 0.9 percent from 0.7 percent.
The attack rate in Davao City also increased to 2 percent from 1.2 percent. However, data from DOH-Davao also showed that the attack rate for other provinces in the region had slightly decreased.
"For the attack rate, diyan natin nakikita yung risk natin (we can see the risk) of having an infection or the burden of a disease in a specific area and a specific time," Rivera said.
Rivera said both the growth and attack rate are being used as indicators in the current Covid-19 situation in the ground, particularly, what measures are needed to be improved to curb the further transmission of the Covid-19.
She said the increasing cases in Davao Region are brought about by mass gatherings, which is currently being discouraged by health authorities and the government.
"Kasi nakikita po namin na tumataas ang cases, based on contact investigation ay yung mga gatherings... yung mga workplace and lalong-lalo na sa mga gatherings na events after work (based on our contact investigation, we saw a surge of cases in workplaces, and other mass gatherings right after work)," she said.
They also saw Covid-19 transmissions at birthday parties, weddings and other special occasions.
Meanwhile, a total of 630 new recoveries have already been recorded between October 1 to 17. Of this number, 383 are from Davao City, 69 from Davao del Norte, 54 from Davao de Oro, 47 from Davao del Sur, 40 from Davao Occidental and 37 from Davao Oriental.
A total of 41 new deaths were also reported in the first half of October. This is higher than the total number of new deaths reported in the previous months. Of the 41 deaths, 33 are from Davao City, five from Davao del Sur, two from Davao del Norte, and one each from Davao de Oro and Davao Oriental. No new Covid-19-related death was recorded in Davao Occidental. The province has not recorded a new death related to Covid-19 since July 15.
Data from DOH-Davao also showed that a total of 17,906 tests have already been conducted by Covid-19 testing laboratories in Davao Region. Around 6 percent or 1,184 have tested positive for the Sars-CoV-2. Of this number, 274 are from other regions.
As of October 17, Covid-19 cases in Davao Region are now at 3,986, with 3063 recoveries, 135 deaths and 788 active cases.