Has COVID-19 peaked in Davao? Health officials give their answer

Apr. 07, 2020

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Health officials in Davao Region said the region has yet to peak on coronavirus (COVID-19) infections even as reports of new cases have declined.

“A peak of an epidemic is established when all actions are done to trace all cases,” said Dr. Cleo Fe Tabada, head of the Department of Health (DOH) Region 11’s Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit.

“We are still getting cases and the data we have is still lacking. We need to do more tests for identification and determine the prevalence of the infection. That’s the time that we could say if we are rising towards a peak or in a peak,” Tabada said.

A total of 1,937 people have been contact traced by DOH in this region. 427 of them had a history of exposure at Matina Gallera while 1,510 had contacts with other COVID-19 patients.

DOH 11 Assistant Regional Director Dr. Lenny Joy Rivera said projecting the peak depends on the success of the measures implemented to avoid the spread of the coronavirus disease.

“In Davao Region, if no interventions were made, it would peak in June. But given the measures, it could be on the second week of April. But, there is still no fixed time to predict its peak,” Rivera said.

The health official said the onset of the disease in Region 11 started on March 3 when a person under investigation came for a consultation and cases increased on March 15.

Davao Region has confirmed 80 COVID-19 cases since the national emergency was raised as of April 6.

Eleven have died while 22 have recovered, and 47 are still undergoing treatment. 23 of the COVID-19 cases had attended the cockfight derby in Matina Galleria early in March.

Rivera said they are calling people to come for consultation if they are exposed to a COVID-19 positive area or have come in close contact with a COVID-19 patient as numbers are determined based on people’s cooperation.

Dr. Leopoldo Vega, Director of the Southern Philippine Medical Center, said the low rate of COVID-19 cases is attributed to interventions such as physical distancing and quarantine.

“We are still on the initial phase of the disease process with local transmission in Davao. The intervention might be right that we can mitigate the problem hoping to contain it and prevent it from rising,” Vega said.

The City has been under an enhanced community quarantine from April 4 to 19, and may possibly be extended to the end of this month. (davaotoday.com)

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