WE are about to end 2021 on a rather bittersweet note considering the aftermath of typhoon Odette. However, in the case of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are about to end on a pretty high note.

As of December 29, 2021, Covid-19 cases in Davao Region have dropped to below 200 active cases from a high of over 20,000 cases around the third quarter of this year.

For Davao City, active cases are now only 58.

The positivity rate in the region has also dropped to single digits from double digits.

Covid-19 Task Force spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio Wednesday morning, December 29, that active cases in the city also fell below 1 percent to only 0.3 percent.

"Even with the number of people na atong ginapa-swab, gamay gyud atong cases (People being swabbed have also decreased; so, our cases have really dropped)," Schlosser said.

Health officials have attributed the drop in Covid-19 cases and low positivity rate is due to minimum health standards in place and the widespread vaccination rollout.

The drop in cases has allowed local government units to ease restrictions allowing more businesses to operate again and people to return to their jobs.

However, while these are all good news, we should not be complacent. The Covid-19 remains to be highly infectious. While the current vaccines offer a layer of protection, people are still bound to get infected if they are not careful.

Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio said on Monday, December 27, that health experts have warned her of another possible post-holiday surge.

"Nangutana ko sa health group sa response cluster kung duna ba gyud surge sunod tuig (I asked the health group of the response cluster if we are expecting a surge next year), and the answer was -- yes there will be a surge. Ang dili lang nato masulti kung unsa ka dako, or unsa ka deadly meaning unsa ka daghan ang mamatay (What is uncertain is how big or how deadly the surge will be, meaning how many will die) with the incoming surge," the mayor said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.

Hence, it is important that we are not complacent despite how low Covid-19 cases are.

Duterte-Carpio urged Dabawenyos to continue to follow minimum health protocols.

"Dako kaayo og matabang ang public nga ma-lessen or ma-reduce ang kadako sa surge (The public has a huge role in lessening or reducing the surge) and that is by not taking off your mask anywhere. I suggest wearing your mask dinha pud sa sulod sa inyong (even within) household," the mayor said.

Likewise, Schlosser emphasized the importance of discipline among the public.

"Dependent gyud ang atong number of cases sa kung unsa ka grabe, or unsa kaguot sa atong disiplina, especially sa atong pag-follow og (Our cases would reflect on how strict we are with our discipline in following the) minimum health standards, even in the midst of the holiday," Schlosser said.

As we close 2021 with a low number of cases, let's be more cautious as we enter 2022 to prevent another Covid-19 surge.