THE Covid-19 situation in Davao Oriental remains "under control" after continuing to experience a downtrend of active cases and high recovery rate, a high-ranking health official in the province said.
Davao Oriental Provincial Health Officer Dr. Reden Bersaldo said in a Facebook live interview with SunStar Davao's The Talking Heads that the province, along with Davao Occidental, had the highest recovery rate at 96 percent. He said this was higher than the entire regional recovery rate of 92.2 percent.
He said the province's case fatality rate is at 2.9 percent, lower than the 4.2 percent overall fatality rate of the region.
According to the Department of Health (DOH) data as of Saturday, April 24, 2021, the province had a total of 1,418 confirmed Covid-19 cases, wherein 29 were active cases, 1,355 have recovered, and 34 died.
"We have had several challenges already, but right now, presently, we can say that the Covid[-19] situation in Davao Oriental is under control," Bersaldo said.
The official said the provincial government continues to intensify its community surveillance and active contact tracing, which are attributed to the declining number of cases.
Bersaldo said they are active in their contact tracing through their own quick response (QR) code system, the Davao Oriental Digital Contact Tracing System (DavOr DCTS) QR Code.
"Although it faces a lot of challenges in the implementation, it somehow helped really in the contact tracing of cases in the province," he said.
Bersaldo said the recent observance of the Holy Week had not contributed much to the province's overall Covid-19 cases, unlike the post-Christmas and New Year Celebration, wherein non-essential gatherings and activities caused a spike of cases in the province.
Due to the overwhelming number of Covid-19 cases, the Davao Oriental Provincial Medical Center (DOMPC), Mati City has temporarily ceased its operations for 14 days in late January this year.
"Medyo nakuratan ra mi initially atong post-Holiday surge, nga grabe gyud ang cases. (We were a little bit stunned with how the post-Holiday surge resulted in the abrupt increase of cases.) In fact, there was one time wherein we have a total of 50 new cases in one day, the highest in the province, and then we have a total of more than 200 active cases. Wala mi naanad ana. (We were not used to it.) But we were able to pull the cases down by aggressive contact and also active surveillance, isolation, and testing," Bersaldo said.
He said they were anticipating a possible surge due to tourist influx from neighboring provinces in the region, especially from Davao City.
The province is known for its several tourist destinations.
The health official said they were able to prevent the possible surge in the province due to intact measures.
On March 27, Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang issued Executive Order (EO) No. 7 series of 2021, imposing Covid-19 interim guidelines in the province in anticipation of the surge of tourists and travelers during the Holy Week.
The province implemented a “no QR code, no entry policy” across all border points of the province.
Tourism establishments were urged to utilize online or mobile modes of reservation and payment applications.
Upon entering, guests needed to undergo a mandatory screening that includes checking body temperatures using a thermal scanner or thermometer gun.
Tourists were also required to secure a health declaration through a mobile application or other contactless means, prior to boarding any transport service going to their respective destination.
Guests who have fever or any flu-like symptoms were not allowed to enter and were referred to a nearby hospital or the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team, as prescribed by DOH.
For group bookings of more than five members, specifically, biker or rider groups who want to visit the province, they were advised to secure a prior booking requirement to their destination. Their bookings were checked at all border control points in the province.
The EO also stated that the local government, including the barangays and tourist police, should conduct random inspections of tourism establishments and resorts to check their compliance with the order.
Meanwhile, operational and sitting capacity of resorts and other establishments to 60 percent remains at 50 percent.