Only those vaccinated vs COVID-19 must attend holiday parties – Davao doctor | Inquirer News
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AVERTING COVID SURGE

Only those vaccinated vs COVID-19 must attend holiday parties – Davao doctor

/ 04:59 AM December 28, 2021

DAVAO CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines — While practical, the advice offered by a doctor to those throwing parties may turn out to be unpopular.

Dr. Ricardo Audan, Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) medical chief, urges people planning celebrations during the holiday season to invite only those who have been vaccinated so that should there be a surge in COVID-19 infections next month, hospitals will not be overwhelmed by severe cases.

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He offered the advice even as COVID-19 cases have been declining in the city and the whole Davao region—a trend he attributed to the aggressive vaccination campaign being conducted by local governments.

According to Audan, they are hoping against a possible surge by the end of January as people gather to celebrate during the holiday season.

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Downtrend

“We’ve been experiencing [a] downtrend [in] cases for more than a month,” he said, citing the lower demand for intensive care unit (ICU) beds and even COVID-19 and isolation beds at SPMC, the country’s largest hospital-based on bed capacity and considered the premier coronavirus facility in the region.

Out of 60 ICU beds at SPMC, only 22 were in use while of the 235 COVID-19 beds, only 79 were occupied, based on a Dec. 26 report from the Department of Health (DOH).

“But we’re still crossing our fingers,” Audan said when asked if he expected the trend to continue.

Zero deaths

“By end of January, when there’s likely [to be] a surge, we expect that most of those infected will be persons who have been fully vaccinated. Hence, [they] won’t get the severe [form of the] disease and will only need to be quarantined at home. So, there’s a need to encourage people to just accept fully vaccinated individuals into their parties so that we will not overwhelm our hospitals during the surge,” he added.

Based on the same Dec. 26 DOH report, only 10 out of 451 people tested in the region had been found positive for COVID-19.

Of the 10 new cases, only one was in Davao City. Davao del Norte province, which used to trail the city in terms of the number of coronavirus cases, posted the highest with seven, followed by Davao de Oro with two.

For three consecutive days, the region also registered zero deaths, according to the DOH report.

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Testing

Audan explained that health authorities were only testing symptomatic and suspected cases in the region, which explained why the number of those tested for COVID-19 would fluctuate from 1,000 to just 400 on certain days.

Vaccination, he said, plays a very important role in controlling the spread of the coronavirus as 85 percent of COVID-related admissions and 100 percent of fatalities at SPMC were unvaccinated.

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TAGS: covid-19 vaccination, holiday parties, Ricardo Audan
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