Amid declining Covid-19 cases, Dabawenyos told to remain vigilant

Amid declining Covid-19 cases, Dabawenyos told to remain vigilant

DAVAO CITY – Even with the city being classified as “minimal risk” for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), Dabawenyos should not be complacent by always practicing the minimum health standards.

The classification was based on the Local Government Unit (LGU) Risk Classification based on the Community Quarantine Decision Matrix provided by the National Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

“We are happy that because of the people’s cooperation with all the government agencies in charge of responding to the pandemic, there is a downward trend in the number of Covid cases, but now is not the time to relax,” Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte told Philippine News Agency on Thursday.

Villafuerte, head of the Committee on Health, said the local government will continue to implement strict health protocols despite decreasing cases.

“So while the Covid-19 vaccination is ongoing, we will continue to implement all the preventive measures that are in place, such as the minimum public health protocols, curfew, liquor ban, as well as all the Covid-19 related ordinances and national laws,” Villafuerte said.

Dr. Ashley Lopez, the Acting Davao City Health Officer, said the “minimal risk” classification for this city is based on two indicators:  the 2-Week Growth Rate (2WGR) and the Average Daily Attack Rate (ADAR).

“Our 2WGR is -58.26, which means our cases are decreasing. Under this indicator, we are classified Low. Another indicator is the ADAR; we are at 0.9 or less than one per 100,000. That is also classified Low,” Lopez said.

Lopez said the city still has five barangays classified as “high risk” and seven as “moderate risk” but said no area is under “critical risk.”

He said the city recorded 563 cases in the past three to four weeks and 235 in the past one to two weeks.

As of March 16, the city’s recovery rate stood at 92 percent.

Davao City has recorded 13,408 cases since March last year, with 398 cases remaining active as of Wednesday.

“We have a remarkable decrease of cases in the past two weeks, and we have an improved situation compared to the last few months,” Lopez said.

Lopez also noted the occupancy rate in the city’s Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities (TTMF) is at 13.8 percent, indicating the declining number of quarantined patients.

On the other hand, the Southern Philippines Medical Center’s (SPMC) utilization rate for the Covid-19 ward beds and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds is less than 60 percent.

Lopez said this means SPMC and the other hospitals catering to Covid-19 patients have low utilization rate.

However, Lopez made it clear that Dabawenyos should not let their guard down and remain vigilant for a possible surge of cases due to the loosening travel restrictions.

“We should not relax because anytime if we have one variant (infection) in Davao, there may be another surge,” he said. (PNA)

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