The Department of Health (DOH) recently reported a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, due to the increase in expanded testing and the increased mobility in different regions from eased quarantine restrictions.
Dr. Beverly Lorraine Ho, Director of the DOH Health Promotion and Communication Service, reported the increase of cases but assured that the Philippine COVID-19 situation is not hopeless and could be mitigated through continued behavior change.
“Dapat ba tayong mabahala? Oo. Dapat ba tayong maging helpless? Hindi. Alam natin anong kailangan gawin ng bawat indibidwal at ng ating local government units (LGU) na siyang lider sa pagresponde,” Ho said.
She also lauded the local government units for their strict enforcement of COVID-19 protocols and compliance from amongst their constituents.
“Kaya naman lubos ang pasalamat at paghanga namin sa LGUs na masigasig na nagi-implement ng evidence-based practices at nag-innovate sa kanilang lugar. Pinupuri din namin ang mga local officials na modelo sa kanilang mga kababayan dahil sila ay nagma-mask, nagpi-physical distancing. Kayo po ay role models ng inyong mga constituents,” she said.
With the increase in cases in different regions, DOH emphasized that the public must follow infection control and prevention measures. “According to studies, kung magsuot ka ng mask – mababawasan ang tsansang mahawa by 85%. Kung io-observe mo ang physical distancing ng isang metro – mababawasan ang tsansang mahawa by 80%. Kung mag face shield ka naman – mababawasan ang tsansang mahawa by 78%,” Ho explained.
DOH also reiterated its advice to avoid congested spaces with poor ventilation. Meanwhile, those who have mild symptoms and lower risk are instructed to always opt to receive treatment, rest, and recover in community isolation facilities especially if the patient shares a room with other members of the household.
DOH remains firm in instilling behavioral changes that each individual must follow to become part of the solution in beating COVID-19.
“Gusto din namin ipaalala na porket may expanded testing ay protektado na tayong lahat. Importante parin ang mga preventive behaviors at contact tracing efforts na ating ginagawa. Magbigay tayo parati ng tamang information kapag nagre-register sa mga public places at events upang mas mapaigi ang ating contact tracing efforts,” Ho said.
The National Capital Region has the most number of active cases followed by Central Visayas, CALABARZON, Central Luzon and Eastern Visayas. There are also 1,779 active cases from repatriates.
Despite this, the country’s testing capacity has also increased. “Una, tumaas ang testing capacity. Noong Mayo, naglalaro sa 8,000-10,000 ang daily output natin, pero nitong Hunyo, pumapalo na ng 16,000 ang daily output natin,” Ho noted.
Ho attributed the increase to continuous community transmission and cited Cebu as an example. “Makikita natin ito sa Cebu kung saan ang positivity rate ay 32.8%. Ibig sabihin, sa kada 100 na nate-test, halos 33 na tao ang nagpo-positive. This contrasts with the national positivity rate of 7%.”