BUKIDNON, Philippines – Davao topped the regions in the Visayas and Mindanao with the highest sustained increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks.
It saw the number of COVID-19 cases increasing further in the last seven days, alarming officials who worry that the surge would continue in the coming weeks.
The Department of Health (DOH) said the Davao Region registered a 164.72% increase in COVID-19 cases from January 19 to January 26 compared to the week before that.
Western Visayas and Central Visayas followed, each showing an 87.36% sustained case increase during the same period.
The DOH said the Davao Region, Western Visayas, and Central Visayas have been the top regions in the Visayas and Mindanao based on their seven-day moving average since January 19, with bed utilization at moderate risk and intensive care facilities at low moderate risk.
At Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City, its ICU utilization rate registered at 85.06%. Data showed that 74 of its total 87 ICU beds were in use while its wards were fully occupied – its 453 ward beds were all utilized as of noontime on Tuesday, January 25.
SPMC also logged 885 active cases, based on its latest data released on Tuesday. Its positivity rate was at 65.88% – 224 of 340 people tested were found to be infected as of Saturday, January 22.
The Davao Region logged 1,705 cases just on Wednesday, January 26. Of these, 1,039 were in Davao City.
The region’s ICU bed utilization rate is at 65.3%, with 143 of its 219 total ICU beds in use.
Meanwhile, 520 of the Davao Region’s 882 isolation beds, or 59% were also being used, while 536 of its 820 ward beds, or 65.4% were being utilized.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said she was worried that the COVID-19 surge in the city could last until mid-March.
Dr. Michelle Schlosser, the focal person of Davao’s COVID-19 inter-agency task force, said the surge was due to the “unwarranted behaviors of people in public spaces.”
“Our behavior is also our enemy. Here, we can see how the people are receptive to the measures and strategies we put in place to lower the infection rate. Of course, getting the vaccine is one big measure, and I bet my license here that the vaccine is vital in keeping us alive from this pandemic than the lie of it to cause deaths,” Schlosser told the Davao City Disaster Radio on Wednesday. – Rappler.com
Grace Cantal-Albasin is a Mindanao-based journalist and awardee of Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship