Coronavirus spike seen in Luzon, Mindanao | Inquirer News

Coronavirus spike seen in Luzon, Mindanao

Task force sending teams to provinces to help local officials contain COVID-19 spread; Tawi-Tawi also watched as outbreak reported in Sabah
/ 04:19 AM October 21, 2020

FIGHTING VIRUS Testing has been identified by health officials as one of the key steps to fight COVID-19. —GRIG C.MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — A spike in COVID-19 cases in several provinces in Southern Tagalog, Northern Luzon and Mindanao has prompted the national task force temporarily overseeing the government response to the pandemic to send teams to these areas to help local officials contain the spread of the disease.

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19, said Ilagan City in Isabela province and Baguio City, and several provinces in Mindanao, including Bukidnon, had reported a rise of coronavirus infections.


During a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night, Galvez said Tawi-Tawi province was also being watched because of an outbreak in nearby Sabah in Malaysia.In a separate briefing, Assistant Secretary Wilben Mayor, Galvez’s chief of staff, said a surge in cases was also recorded in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region. The officials, however, did not provide numbers.



The NTF would send teams to areas with rising cases to provide support for and technical advice, guidance and assessment to local officials, Mayor said.

It would also insist on the practice of bringing infected residents to quarantine centers to prevent the infection from spreading, he said.

“There is a stated protocol on how to respond to a spike in cases. Our chief implementer maintains that it is important to avoid home quarantine because it is seen as the cause of the transmission of COVID-19,” Mayor said at the Laging Handa briefing.

The government has built quarantine centers in each region, he noted. Galvez praised local governments for being prompt in asking for help from the national government, unlike before “when they sometimes hide their numbers.”

“They are working hard to manage the cases,” he said.

Despite the increase in COVID-19 cases in several provinces, the NTF believes that the overall trend in the country would continue to go down in the coming months as infections, in general, have been observed to be decreasing, Mayor said.


The key is the people’s continued observance of health protocols and adherence to the government’s guidelines to prevent the spread of the severe respiratory disease, he said.

These measures are even more important as the government further eases quarantine restrictions and allows more people to go out and more businesses to operate, Mayor said.

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TAGS: coronavirus Philippines, Wilben Mayor

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