MANILA

Virus cases still below 2,000, but Davao, Cebu cities under monitoring

(File)

CORONAVIRUS infections in the country remained below 2,000 for the 14th day in a row, with the Department of Health (DOH) reporting 1,799 new cases on Monday, November 23, 2020.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, however, said in a press conference earlier Monday that they were monitoring Davao and Cebu cities, among others.

She said the number of new infections and the critical care utilization rate in Davao City are rising.

In Cebu City, cases are increasing, but the critical care utilization rate remains low.

“Meron pa rin tayong ibang binabantayan katulad ng Cebu City. Binabantayan di natin dahil merong pagtaas ng mga kaso. Although their critical care utilization is not high, pero gusto nating ma-imbestigahan kung bakit ang kaso ay biglang tumataas dito sa lugar na ito,” she said.

(We are also monitoring other areas like Cebu City because of an increase in cases. Although their critical care utilization is not high, we want to look into the reason behind the sudden increase in cases.)

Based on the DOH case bulletin Monday, the 1,799 new infections pushed the total number of coronavirus infections in the country past the 420,000 mark.

There are now 420,614 total infections in the Philippines, including 25,837 active cases.

The DOH also reported 50 additional mortalities, raising the death toll from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) to 8,173, or a case fatality rate of 1.94 percent.

There were 135 new recoveries, bringing the total to 386,604, or 91.9 percent of the total case count.

The cities and provinces with the highest number of new cases Monday were Cavite (154), Rizal (114), Quezon City (99), Bulacan (76) and Laguna (67).

A total of 19,178 tests were conducted as of 12 noon on November 22, of which 853 or 4.4 percent yielded positive results.

“In general, nakikita natin na ‘yung ating mga kaso ay patuloy naman na nagpa-plateau doon sa less than 2,000 cases per day,” Vergeire said.

(Generally, we can see that cases have plateaued in the less than 2,000 a day territory.)

In terms of critical care utilization, Vergeire said the risk is moderate as only 50 to 53 percent of the country’s health system capacity were in use.

The agency measures the health system capacity in terms of the number of mechanical ventilators and the number of intensive care unit, isolation and ward beds.

Vergeire said a One Hospital Command is being set up in Davao City to decongest hospitals.

The government is also implementing Oplan Kalinga, which aims to transfer coronavirus-positive individuals to temporary treatment facilities from their homes to ensure their isolation from the community.

The government is also facilitating the transfer of Covid-19 patients, whose conditions have improved, to “step-down care facilities” from the hospitals to decongest the latter.

The National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19, which implements the government's Covid-19 response, has sent deputy chief implementer Mel Feliciano to assist the Davao City Government.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines also sent early Monday morning 25 military doctors, nurses and medical aides.

Davao City was reverted to general community quarantine until November 30, 2020 after topping several times the list of cities and provinces with the highest number of new coronavirus cases a day. (Marites Villamor-Ilano/SunStar Philippines)


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