Low NCR infections but higher COVID-19 cases? Duque says other areas also hit
MANILA, Philippines —Despite Metro Manila’s overall infection rate dwindling according to the latest reports, many people wondered why new COVID-19 cases per day still hovered around the 6,000-7,000 mark weeks after the National Capital Region and neighboring provinces relaxed quarantine protocols.
The answer, said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Monday, is that COVID-19 cases are increasing in other areas as well.
Duque explained during President Rodrigo Duterte’s pre-recorded briefing on the pandemic that areas outside Metro Manila — from Calabarzon to Western Visayas and some parts of Mindanao — saw an increase in infections.
“Ang NCR […] ay paliit nang paliit ang bahagi na ito bilang porsyento ng pangkalahatang case load […] Ang ating Region IV-A, at nakikita din natin nagpa-plateau ang mga kaso, at ang Region VI, ay nakikita natin unti-unting tumataas na ang mga kaso sa naturang rehiyon,” Duque said.
(NCR’s percentage on the overall COVID-19 caseload is getting smaller and smaller. For Region IV-A, we can see that the cases are plateauing, and for Region VI, we have observed that the cases are slowly increasing in the said region.)
“Saan nanggaling ang mga pagtaas ng mga kasong ito? Bahagyang bumababa ang kaso sa NCR and the rest of Luzon sa nakalipas na pitong araw […] Sa kabilang dako patuloy na nagpapakita ng pagtaas ang kaso sa Visayas at Mindanao, kung saan mas mabilis ang pagtaas nitong nakaraang linggo sa Visayas habang ang Mindanao ay malapit na sa bilang ng rest of Luzon,” he added.
(Where is the increase in cases coming from? It has been decreasing in NCR and for the rest of Luzon for the last seven days. But on the other side, Visayas and Mindanao have continuously shown signs of case increases, as increments have been quicker for the last week in the Visayas while Mindanao is nearing the numbers for the rest of Luzon.)
The increase is already evident in the daily case count that the Department of Health presents: for example, for Monday’s COVID-19 data, which showed 6,539 new infections, of which only 809 or 12.37 percent came from NCR.
The highest contributions came from Calabarzon, at 1,049, although the said region’s COVID-19 cases are already plateauing, which means it is not registering any significant increase in recent days.
After Calabarzon and Metro Manila, Western Visayas came up next, with 692 cases.
If segregated into which localities contribute the highest number of new COVID-19 cases for Monday, Laguna came out on top with 329, followed by Cavite with 283 — both provinces in Calabarzon.
Negros Oriental, which is inside Central Visayas, has 235 new infections; and Davao City, which is in Mindanao, has 213 new cases.
The Philippines recently endured a surge of COVID-19 cases, most of which were concentrated in the NCR plus area, including Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal. However, as cases went down, the government downgraded the lockdown to a general community quarantine (GCQ), with cases plateauing and eventually decreasing.
But even if Monday’s 6,539 new infections is far from the 10,000 to 15,000 figures at the peak of the surge, they are still not anywhere close to the numbers before the surge happened. Last May 28, the country’s case count went up sharply after DOH recorded 8,748 new infections — the highest since NCR Plus was placed under a GCQ.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.