DOH says gatherings behind surge in COVID-19 cases in 2 Davao provinces
DAVAO CITY—While COVID-19 cases in the Davao region were on the decline, these were on the rise in the provinces of Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro because of frequent gatherings that had been drawing large crowds, according to a health official.
As of April 7, Davao del Norte posted 300 active COVID-19 cases, surpassing the 270 cases posted by Davao City, which consistently had the highest number of coronavirus infections in the region, the Department of Health (DOH) said in a report.
The DOH’s COVID-19 tracker showed that the number of active cases in Davao City has been declining from its peak of 601 cases in November 2020 to 270 cases as of Wednesday (April 7).
But Davao del Norte, which had 87 cases in late November 2020, had 137 cases in December 2020 and 174 cases in late January 2021.
Davao de Oro, which had 43 cases in November 2020, had 96 cases in the last week of January 2021, 84 cases in the middle of March and 103 cases as of April 7.
DOH monitored a total of 813 active cases in the entire Davao region, 103 of them in Davao de Oro, 59 in Davao Oriental, 54 in Davao del Sur and no reported case in Davao Occidental.
Health authorities attributed the rise in the number of active cases in Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro to the holding of several events which contributed to the spread of SARS Cov2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Dr. Raquel Montejo, chair of the DOH vaccination program in the region, said authorities reviewed the reports and found “that most of the transmissions in those areas were caused by gatherings.”
At an online press conference on Wednesday, she said gatherings in the two provinces triggered the rise in cases as those who attended the events contracted the virus and brought it home to their families.
Among those who got infected, Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez was already in good condition and had been staying at the family home in the province, according to his daughter, Assistant Finance Secretary Paola Alvarez.
The DOH, however, noted that the number of active cases in the entire Davao region has been decreasing.
Despite the declining number of cases, Davao City still posted the highest number of COVID-19 infection in the region, with a total of 13,882 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. It was followed by Davao del Norte, 3,368 cases; Davao del Sur, 1,466 cases; Davao de Oro, 1,407 cases; Davao Oriental, 1,363; and Davao Occidental, 220.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said the city government would increase the number of those to be tested to 1,000 a day from the current 600 a day to track down people who may be infected and contain the spread of the virus.
The mayor, who has gone on a medical leave in Singapore, issued another executive order on April 6 that included in the government’s testing targets the third generation contacts of infected persons.
The mayor also said early this week that the city would include in free testing people doing business in government facilities, like public markets.
In the previous week, eight of the 300 vendors at the Agdao Public Market tested positive for SARS CoV2 while an employee of the city government working in the public market also contracted the virus.
Davao City posted a total of 679 deaths; followed by Davao del Norte, 129; Davao del Sur, 56; Davao de Oro, 49; Davao Oriental, 30; and Davao Occidental, five. WITH A REPORT BY GERMELINA LACORTE
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