While there is a marked decline in COVID-19 cases and health care utilization in Metro Manila and provinces in Luzon, the Department of Health said there is a need to closely monitor the Visayas and Mindanao due to an upward trend in infections.
Dr. Alethea De Guzman, medical specialist at the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, explained that COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila, Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan and Cavite continue to follow a downward trend and are even fewer compared to the beginning of the enhanced community quarantine imposed in March.
There is also a decline in the rest of Luzon but “at a slower pace,” De Guzman noted.
In Metro Manila, the average daily cases from May 11 to 17 is 1,417 — a considerable drop after infections peaked at 5,325 from March 30 to April 5.
But it’s a different story in the Visayas and Mindanao.
”Hindi siya napakabilis na pagtaas pero may pagtaas na tayong nakikita,” De Guzman said.
[Translation: The increase is not that fast but we’re already seeing an uptick.]
De Guzman said positive growth rate was seen in ten regions, mostly from the Visayas and Mindanao, with increasing average daily attack rate, or ADAR, defined as the number of infected people per 100,000 population.
These regions include the Zamboanga Peninsula, Western Visayas, Mimaropa, Caraga, Northern Mindanao, Soccsksargen, Bicol, Davao, Eastern Visayas, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
“Isa sa mahigpit nating binabantayan ngayon ay Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) kasi ang kanyang ADAR ay malapit na sa high-risk. 6.10 siya. Ang ating high risk ay ‘pag lumampas ka ng 7,” she said.
[Translation: One of the regions we’re closely monitoring is Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) because the ADAR is near high-risk. It’s already 6.10. It’s considered high risk when it reaches above 7.]
De Guzman said they are monitoring the increases in highly urbanized or independent component cities.
“Sa ngayon ang kadalasang naoobserbahan ng LGUs at regions ay ‘yung kinakailangang paigtingin ang pag-adhere sa minimum public health standards,” she said.
[Translation: The LGUs and regions observe there’s a need to intensify compliance with minimum public health standards.]
The country is now averaging 5,886 cases per day, according to De Guzman, which is almost half the number when infections peaked at 10,406 from April 6 to 12.
“Gusto natin maabot ‘yung 2,000 cases per day. Bakit 2,000? Nakita natin noong January to February, we’re only averaging 1,700 cases,” she added.
[Translation: We want to reach 2,000 cases per day. Why 2,000? Because back in January to February, we were only averaging 1,700 cases.]