Spike in COVID cases noted in Davao City
DAVAO CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines — Mayor Sara Duterte asked residents not to panic but instead continue observing minimum health protocols as COVID-19 cases in the city started to rise again.
After weeks of posting single-digit infections, the city on Tuesday recorded 38 new cases on Tuesday afternoon, placing it again on top of areas in the Davao region with the highest number of cases.
“Although he was not saying that there was a surge, clearly [the number of daily cases] is increasing,” the mayor said, citing a report by Dr. Ashley Lopez, acting city health officer and the official tasked to oversee the city’s response to COVID-19.
“What we need to do is be faithful in our implementation of the minimum health standards,” she said during her weekly program over the Davao City Disaster Radio on Monday.
Dr. Ricardo Audan, acting head of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), the main COVID-19 referral hospital in the city and in the entire Mindanao, said the number of available COVID-19 and intensive care unit (ICU) beds at the hospital was approaching critical level.
He said ICU bed utilization rate at SPMC was at 97.14 percent, which means that of the 35 ICU beds at the hospital, 34 were already occupied. Of the 347 beds allotted to COVID-19 cases, 244 were already taken.
Last month, we were below 50-percent utilization rate both for the ICU beds and the COVID-19 wards,” Audan told the Inquirer.
He attributed the recent increase to the easing of protocols by the public as a number of gatherings had been reported around the city in recent months.
—WITH A REPORT FROM GERMELINA LACORTE
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