MANILA, Dec 2 (Mabuhay) — An expert from the OCTA Research team on Tuesday identified four regions considered as epicenters of COVID-19 cases in the country.
In a public briefing, Dr. Guido David said the epicenters are the National Capital Region, Davao Region, Calabarzon, and some parts of Central Luzon.
“Ang epicenters ngayon nasa Metro Manila, Davao, and Calabarzon. Nandoon pa rin ‘yun sa Quezon, nakikita natin tumataas pa ang kaso. Sa Central Luzon, actually kasama din ‘yan, dahil tumataas sa Bulacan, at saka sa Pampanga,” David said.
“Medyo marami pa rin ‘yung epicenters natin. Hindi pa rin talaga nawawala ‘yung virus. So, Metro Manila, Davao Region, Calabarzon, and parts of Central Luzon,” he added.
As the government eased some restrictions regarding the pandemic, Professor Ranjit Rye, also of OCTA Research, reminded the public to observe caution to avoid the spread of the disease.
Rye added that the government should work on their communication with the public about the threat of virus transmission.
“Ito ang kailangan ayusin ng gobyerno in the next weeks or so: ‘yung communication. Kasi tumataas ‘yung mga kaso. Bagamat mabagal pa ang pagdagdag ng kaso, ini-expect natin na tataas ‘yan,” he said.
“Ang kailangan natin i-prevent ‘yung sinasabing surge, ‘yung pagbulusok ng mga kaso na mapupuno ang mga ospital at maraming health workers ang mahihirapan. At maaaring maraming mamatay,” he added.
In its latest report, OCTA Research identified eight areas of concern due to the spike in COVID-19 cases: National Capital Region or Metro Manila, Davao del Sur, Quezon, Negros Occidental, Pampanga, Bulacan, Misamis Oriental and Western Samar.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Tuesday said Metro Manila and other areas were placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) to prevent the potential surge of COVID-19 cases during the Christmas season.
“There would be more people going out, therefore increasing contact rate, also the transmission rate. There could be a potential surge of cases,” Duque said in an interview on CNN Philippines.
In a public address aired on Monday night, President Rodrigo Duterte announced the further extension of GCQ in Metro Manila until December 31, 2020 to control the spread of COVID-19 over the holidays.
Duterte said the following areas are also under GCQ:
- Iloilo City
- Tacloban City
- Lanao del Sur
- Davao City
Meanwhile, Duterte placed the rest of the country under modified GCQ.
National Task Force COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. on Monday said the Southern Philippine Medical Center in Davao City is “overwhelmed” following the rise in COVID-19 cases in the city.
Galvez thanked National Task Force Against COVID-19 chair Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana after the Armed Forces of the Philippines sent 25 medical personnel composed of six doctors, six nurses and 13 nursing staff to the city to address the surge in cases.
He also said Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega already established a One Hospital Command in the city to ensure an efficient referral system.
The COVID-19 situation in Davao City, however, is already stabilizing, Galvez said.
Duque on Monday also said the slight increase in COVID-19 cases in the country may be due to evacuation center crowding and the holiday rush, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Monday.
On Monday, the Department of Health reported 1,773 new infections, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases to 431,630.
Rizal recorded the highest number of newly reported cases at 104, followed by Cavite with 99, Negros Occidental with 88, Davao City with 79, and Laguna with 72.
The total number of recoveries also rose to 398,658 after 44 more patients recovered from the disease.
With 19 new fatalities, the death toll climbed to 8,392. (MNS)