FOLLOWING the holiday season festivities we saw a sudden spike of Covid-19 cases across the country. The Philippines was recording new daily Covid-19 cases in the five digits while Davao Region is recording new cases in the three digits.

Health authorities have attributed the increase in Covid-19 cases to the gatherings held during the holidays. During these gatherings, not many observe minimum health public standards. It is quite common for family members and close friends to remove their face masks while dining. Hence, the risk of transmission is high.

There is also notably an increase in people disregarding minimum public health standards.

Data from the Public Safety and Security Command Center showed that individuals violating the guideline on wearing face masks have increased to 63,531 as of January 8, 2022 from 62,902 as of December 31, 2021. In the same period, the number of social distancing or mass gathering violators increased to 44,360 from 43,957.

With the sudden spike in Covid-19 cases, the business sector has expressed concern over the national government imposing a stricter Alert Level status. At present, Davao Region, including Davao City, is placed under Alert Level 2.

"The last thing we want to happen is mag-slide na pud ta sa Alert Level 3 or 4 kay gwapo naman ang dagan nato sa Alert Level 2. Arang-arang ang negosyo sa Alert Level 2 (The last thing we want to happen is we will shift again to Alert Level 3 or 4. Right now, under Alert Level 2, business has been doing better)," Restaurant Owners Association of Davao City Inc. (RestoDC) president Benjamin Lizada said in an interview with SunStar Davao.

While health authorities and local leaders call on the public to strictly follow minimum public health standards, they are also calling on them to get vaccinated and fully vaccinated to get their booster shots.

Vaccination for the first and second doses is already made available around the city in areas that are very accessible to the public. Walk-ins are also being allowed in the area.

The city has also made getting a booster shot now more accessible with a drive-thru vaccination near Crocodile Park. Dr. Michelle Schlosser, spokesperson of Davao City’s Covid-19 Taskforce, said the drive-thru vaccination will administer booster shots for A1, A2, A3, A4, and A5. It will not cater to minors for now.

Vaccinees qualified for booster doses are those who have already been fully vaccinated after three months, or two months if administered with the J&J Janssen single-dose vaccine.

It is our duty to help prevent the surge from worsening. Giving our immune system a boost with the vaccines will help us do our part. Get vaccinated, get boosted against the Covid-19.