AFTER Davao City recorded a downtrend in Covid-19 cases and even recording zero cases on March 22, the City Government will continue to intensify its monitoring in the communities to determine if there is still transmission.

City Health Office (CHO) Acting Head Dr. Ashley Lopez said in a radio interview on Wednesday, March 24, that the city’s active Covid-19 cases continue to decline.

Based on the March 23 case bulletin of the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao, Davao City continues to experience a downtrend of cases as its active cases are down to 298. Out of 13,553 total cases, 12,593 already recovered, and 662 died.

He said the city has also recorded zero cases in one day based on a report taken from March 22.

“Davao City for the second time this year, we have zero cases for a day, actually nagsugod nagbaba atong mga kaso sa last week sa February (Davao City for the second time this year, we have zero cases for a day, actually the cases have started dropping in the last week of February),” Lopez said.

He said they are targeting to lower the cases to a single digit.

The health official attributed the downtrend in Covid-19 cases to the stricter implementation of local ordinances and policies, quarantine measures, regulated socio-economic activities, and regulated movement of people, especially those entering the city through the Francisco Bangoy International Airport.

“In Davao, we have maintained the general community quarantine and that is the most important because we have seen the downtrend of our cases, we were able to sustain the risk assessment level through the GCQ,” he said.

But Lopez said this is no reason to be complacent as there is a possibility that cases might rise eventually.

To prevent this from happening, he said the City will intensify its monitoring within communities for those with influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms and accurate respiratory infection (ARI).

He said this was recommended by Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as a way to verify if the figures really depict the current Covid-19 situation on the ground.

"Ato ni gipatuman kay gusto nato ma-assure nga or ma-convince ta nga gamay nalang gyud ang kaso. If not, walaon gyud na siya (We are implementing this because we wanted to be assured and convinced that there is already a reduction of cases in the city. If not, eradicate it entirely)," Lopez said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.

He said those experiencing cough, sore throat, fever, and other flu-like symptoms must immediately go to their nearest district health offices.

"We are actively conducting consultations for ILI and ARI-related symptoms so that ato ni silang ma-assess clinically, ug matagaan og pagtagad labi na sa pag-provide og libreng RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test (we can clinically assess them, and we could accommodate them by providing a free RT-PCR test). So that eventually, ato na ma-establish nga ato gyung napugngan or na-control ang kaso sa Covid-19 sa Davao (we can establish that we were able to curb or control the Covid-19 cases in Davao City)," Lopez said.

He said the tests are still for free and that the city will transport those who will undergo swab tests to their nearest swabbing areas.

The health official also said they are going to organize a mobile swab team for potential areas, agencies, or places to visit and conduct surveillance swabbing.

He said they already started their task during a fire incident in R. Castillo, Agdao District. Out of the 300 swabbed families, three individuals tested positive.

Lopez said households and offices with case clustering who will request to have themselves tested with the mobile swab team can reach out to their office or to the city's operation center.

"Magpakonsulta ta sa pinakaduol nga health center so that dili nato ma-compromise not only ourselves, but ato pung maprotektahan or mapugngan ang possible nga Covid-infection sa atong kapamilyahan, ug sa atong silingan ug komunidad (They should consult with the nearest health center so that they will not only prevent compromising themselves, but also to protect and prevent the possible Covid-19 infection within our families, neighbors, and their community)," he said.

The official also cautioned the public to continuously abide by the minimum health protocols amid the improving Covid-19 situation as the new Covid-19 variant is reportedly causing transmission in some key cities in the country, especially in Metro Manila and Cebu.

"Kung makasulod sa atong siyudad, isa, duha, or tulo ka variants, kung dili nato ma-trace up, ma-isolate, ug ma-contact trace ang contacts ana, bungkak gyud ang kaso (If these variants, whether one, two, or three different variants, will be detected here in the city, and if we cannot trace and isolate those who had a close contact with the new variants, expect a spike of cases)," Lopez said.

He said the city reinstated its border control, including the reimposition of the mandatory RT-PCR test starting March 23, as a measure to prevent the possible entry of the new variant-carriers.

As of Wednesday, Marchs 2,4 he said the city is free from the new variants.