The Department of Health reported a “marked decline” in Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila and Central Luzon but noted an uptick in cases in the Visayas and Mindanao.
“We need to closely monitor Visayas and Mindanao since this is where we are seeing an increase in cases. It’s not a rapid increase but we’re seeing a rise already,” Dr. Alethea De Guzman, OIC director of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau recently said in an online press briefing.
De Guzman cited cases in the Zamboanga Peninsula that rose to 1,500 at the start of May which is quadruple the number of cases the region had in April. Other than Zamboanga, the DOH also observed a rise in cases in Western Visayas, Mimaropa, Caraga, Northern Mindanao, Soccsksargen, Bicol Region, Davao Region, Eastern Visayas and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
She noted that the reason for the increase in cases could be less strict adherence to minimum public health and safety standards.
Despite the rise in cases, De Guzman said the DOH would not yet recommend heightened quarantine restrictions in those areas as the department believed regional health facilities could still handle the cases. Additionally, heads of local government units could still authorize granular lockdowns in areas seeing an increase in Covid-19 cases.
On Tuesday, the DOH recorded 4,487 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total cases in the country to 1,154,338. This is the lowest case count since March 17.
If Negros Island does not want the aggressive measures that were imposed in Metro Manila in response to the spike in cases, we will have to do more to contain the outbreak while we still can.
As usual, it is us people who should consistently adhere to minimum public health and safety standards while we wait for government units to further improve the testing and contact tracing capabilities that remain below par despite dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic for more than a year.
Until the vaccination rollout finally begins with earnest, and herd immunity is in sight, constant vigilance and compliance will remain our primary weapons against the Covid-19 virus. As we have been doing it for more than a year already, let’s continue to keep our guard up for, hopefully, just a few more months.*