Mati City braces for possible Covid-19 surge amid holiday season

Mati City braces for possible Covid-19 surge amid holiday season

DAVAO CITY – The Mati City Incident Management Team (IMT) is bracing for a possible surge of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases during the Christmas season, an official said Monday.

Ben Jason Tesiorna, city information head, told Philippine News Agency that they expect the influx of visitors due to events and parties but assured that the IMT is preparing for the possible increase in the rate of infection.

He noted that the city has an average of 200 returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and locally stranded individual (LSIs) arrivals every month.

“This excludes the thousands of tourists visiting the city every weekend,” Tesiorna added.

Mati IMT head Dr. Ben Hur Catbagan Jr. said they expect an increase in the number of travelers from neighboring provinces to celebrate Christmas and New Year in the city.

“Let’s continue to be vigilant, avoid risky behaviors that will further expose us to the virus. We can always celebrate the holidays in a safe secure way with our immediate family, so we can go on new normal the following year, helping one another in reviving our economy,” he said.

Catbagan added that despite Mati having opened its doors to tourism the past several months now, the IMT was able to “beat Covid for every wave”.

“Every time there was a possible surge of cases, we responded by enforcing minimum health standards, tested and isolated cases, traced contacts and quarantined them, and we were able to cut transmission every time in a matter of days, leading to a sense of normalcy in our city. We have beaten Covid-19 for every wave in the past months so far, but there is still no assurance that we will not be having a surge of cases again soon,” Catbagan said.

The Mati IMT head said the continuing success in their management of the virus is also proof “that the people have cooperated and we should thank them and continue to encourage them to practice masking up, distancing, hand hygiene, avoiding crowds to protect them and their families.”

“With God’s blessings, let’s continue to save lives and livelihood,” Catbagan said.

As of Monday, Mati City has registered a total of 127 confirmed cases with only two active cases, 122 recoveries, and three deaths. (PNA)

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