The current surge in COVID-19 cases in Davao City was attributed to social gatherings held during the Christmas holidays, the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force said.
Davao City COVID-19 Task Force Spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser made the disclosure during the COVID-19 Alert program of 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio aired on Wednesday, January 26, 2022.
“The only way ma-spread ang infection is social gathering. That’s why atong gina-emphasize ang minimum public health standards. Kung nag-follow ta og katong social distancing, wearing of face mask all the time, and then katong hand hygiene dako gyud kaayo ang tyansa na dili managhan ang cases (The only way to spread the infection is social gathering. That’s why we have been emphasizing the minimum public health standards. If we follow social distancing, wearing of face masks all the time, and then hand hygiene, there’s a great chance that COVID-19 cases will not be as high as it is now),” she said.
Dr. Schlosser said because of social gatherings, the minimum public health standards (MPHS) were not followed and triggered the surge in COVID-19 cases.
As of January 25, 2022, Davao City logged 8,817 active cases. The city has a total of 64,561 COVID-19 cases since March 2020. At least 53,918 have recovered while 1,826 succumbed to the disease.
The city health official said, “Simple lang kaayo gyud sya. That’s a fact. The reason why dunay surge is because we broke the minimum public health standards through social gatherings (It’s simple. That’s a fact. The reason we have a surge is that we broke the MPHS through social gatherings).”
In Davao City’s current Alert Level 3 status, gatherings in residences with individuals not belonging to the same household are strictly not allowed.
Mayor Inday Sara Duterte earlier said the current surge, according to a doctor, may last until mid-March this year. She said that the current COVID-19 active cases will still climb due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
Dr. Schlosser confirmed this by saying, “Mao na atong anticipated length or period of surge but pwede nato na ma-change with our behavior sa tao. Kung mahimo lang, please allow us to help you. Allow us to assist you, allow us na matabangan mo in our Covid management (That’s the anticipated length or period of our surge but that can still change depending on our behavior. If it’s possible, please allow us to help you. Allow us to assist you, allow us to help you with our COVID-19 management).”
She said some individuals who are COVID-19 positive or exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 patient or have influenza-like illnesses such as fever, cough, colds, and sore throat kept mum about their symptoms.
“Naay dili magsaba. Ako nalang ni syang itago’ pagkahuman naay nibisita kapamilya nila o di nag-positive pud eh di nag-spread. If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or if you think you have close contact with a COVID-19 positive case, please submit yourselves sa atong process. Tagai mi og chance to help you and to mitigate the risk of infection by doing the PDITR plus (Some remain silent. I’d rather hide this’ but then when a family member visits and becomes positive so the infection has spread. If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or if you think you have close contact with a COVID-19 positive case, please submit yourselves to our process. Give us a chance to help you and to mitigate the risk of infection by doing the PDITR plus),” Dr. Schlosser added.
PDITR stands for the Prevention, Detection, Isolation, Treatment, and Reintegration Plus (PDITR Plus) strategies with plus, referring to vaccination.
She reiterated the importance of contact tracing and testing with those manifesting COVID-19 symptoms, as well as the isolation of COVID-19 positive patients and quarantining of close contacts.
It may be a hassle for those affected but Dr. Schlosser said it’s the only way to mitigate the risk of spread of infection and to reduce the city’s number of COVID-19 cases.
She said, “Kung gusto nato mahuman ang surge og dali, kung gusto gyud nato mahuman, then we have to follow these (If we want the surge to end early then we have to follow these strategies and guidelines).”CIO