DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the sudden surge of Covid-19 active cases is a "cause for alarm."
"Is it a cause for alarm? Yes. Is [there a] surge? According to the presentation of Dr. [Ashley] Lopez, not yet. But It seems to indicate that there is a pre-surge," Duterte-Carpio said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio on Monday, May 10.
Based on the Department of Health-Davao Region (DOH-Davao) data as of May 9, Davao City has currently 513 active cases.
This is higher than the average 350 active cases in the previous weeks.
Also, based on the DOH-Davao data, Davao City has also topped in the areas in the region with the most number of new cases in a single day for five straight days with an average of 60 to 70 new cases.
Duterte-Carpio said there has been an "outbreak" of Covid-19 in offices and establishments that is contributing to the city's active cases.
She said these offices are mostly government offices, but does not include City Government offices.
The mayor said some of the new cases were detected through the city’s intensified measures on contact tracing and testing.
"Naa tay mga nakuha sa atong surveillance na mga positive cases (We were able to detect in our surveillance testing). Otherwise, kung wala ta nag-surveillance, dili nato to sila makita unless maging severe na ang ilahang symptoms and kailangan na sila'g (if we did not conduct the surveillance testing, we were not able to track them unless they would already experience severe symptoms and would be in need of) hospital [care]," Duterte-Carpio said.
Duterte-Carpio signed EO 18 for the heightened surveillance and response of Covid-19 in Davao City by expanding its testing and contact tracing capabilities to manage the Covid-19 situation in the city. Under the EO, the city will test and monitor those with influenza-like illness (ILI).
The health response clusters are also ordered to make a regular schedule of surveillance swabbing in high-risk areas without implementing the mandatory home quarantine post-swabbing such as but not limited to: business and commercial establishments; public places; and government offices.
Another is EO 20, which was issued on April 8, F1 contacts are those first-generation contacts of an RT-PCR confirmed Covid-19 positive case, while F2 contacts are those second-generation contacts of an RT-PCR confirmed Covid-19 positive case (close contacts of F1), and F3 contacts are those third-generation contacts of an RT-PCR confirmed Covid-19 positive case (close contacts of F2).
The mayor also issued EO 22 providing free Covid-19 swab testing for all drivers and delivery service.
When asked if this is a call for placing the city to a stricter quarantine status, the mayor said it is under the discretion of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
"ECQ [enhanced community quarantine] or MECQ [modified ECQ], it’s a decision sa (from the) national government -- IATF," she said.
ECQ is currently the highest quarantine status imposed by the national government to an area with an alarming number of active cases.
Duterte-Carpio reiterated her video message last week that she is not ruling out the possibility that the city will be placed under ECQ if minimum health standards and regulations will be disregarded.
"We do not want to be an ECQ or MECQ. But if we continue to be dili strikto sa atong (not stricly abide the) minimum public health standards and pag-follow sa tanan natong (follow our) non-pharmaceutical interventions, then we will really see a surge of cases in the city," the mayor said.
She added that the city is hoping to decrease the active cases so that Davao City will not reach the qualifications set for an ECQ.