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DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The number of documented COVID-19 infections in the Davao Region increased following family and public gatherings during the Holy Week, local health officials confirmed in a report released on Tuesday, April 11.
Dr. Annabelle Yumang, the director of the Department of Health-Center for Health Development in the region, urged hospitals to prepare because the number of cases could further increase.
She called on those running government and private healthcare facilities to observe the COVID-19 guidelines, including allocating at least 30% and 20% of the current authorized bed capacity to cater to patients.
The DOH’s data on healthcare utilization in the Davao Region showed a capacity of 31.1% non-intensive care unit (ICU) bed use and 40.4% ICU bed use.
From April 3 to 9, the DOH logged 223 new cases, and 26 out of 339 admissions were classified as severe and critical cases, as of Monday, April 10.
Health officials said the majority of those infected in the region were asymptomatic or experienced mild symptoms, with 4.7% in moderate health status, 0.8% severe, and two in a critical state.
Dr. Gerna Manatad, DOH-Davao Region assistant director, said there was no cause for alarm, assuring that the situation was manageable, and the current facilities in the region were sufficient and not overburdened.
The Davao Region was at moderate risk, Dr. Rachel Pasion, the head of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, told a press briefing on Wednesday, April 12.
The current positivity rate in the region is 12.2%, which is way above the acceptable positivity rate set by the World Health Organization of 5%.
The regional center, Davao City, recorded the most number of cases in the last two weeks with 282 among the cities and provinces.
Nationwide, the DOH reported that the number of new COVID-19 cases reached nearly 2,000.
Metro Manila logged the most number of new cases with 1,074, followed by Davao Region with 375, Calabarzon with 335, Northern Mindanao with 316, and Central Visayas with 176.
DOH officials in Davao reminded the public to continue practicing minimum public health standards like wearing face masks, isolating when sick, doubling up protection with vaccination and boosters, and ensuring good airflow.
As of March 6, 88.3%, or 3,353,240 of the target population in the Davao Region were fully vaccinated. – Rappler.com
Lucelle Bonzo is an Aries Rufo Journalism fellow.