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COVID-19 cases continue to drop




By Sabrina Pangilinan, ADDU Intern

THE NUMBER of COVID-19 infections here continued to plummet as health officials noted the decreasing positivity rate within the past two weeks.

“We are lower than the WHO (World Health Organization) threshold of 5 percent, which only indicates that we have a relatively low transmission for COVID-19 here,” City Health Office chief, Dr. Ashely Lopez, said during the Davao City Disaster Radio program.

Davao City has recorded between 35 to 40 cases daily, a sharp drop from the 100 or more cases recorded during the local surge early this year. By April, the number of cases slowed down to around 20 and still declining.

The daily Department of Health monitoring shows 27 new cases on April 14, going down to 20 the week later on April 20, and further down to 12 new cases on April 27.

Lopez said that for the past two weeks, the city’s average COVID-19 positivity rate stood at 3.8 percent, below the WHO threshold of 5 percent.

Also, he said, the city has relatively lower death rates compared to the previous months. On the selected monitoring dates by the DOH, there was only one death recorded, on April 20, and none on the other two sample monitoring days.

“The low death rate is an indication of the city’s efficient COVID-19 response and the efficient utilization of care and treatment facilities,” Lopez said.

However, the death of COVID-19 patients may be likely due to underlying health conditions or co-morbidities.

The hospital’s critical utilization rate has also decreased by 50 percent. Lopez said that due to the low occupancy rate, the country’s largest government hospital, the Southern Philippines Medical Center, can now accommodate more moderate, severe, and critical cases.

Lopez cautioned, however, that “because of our intensified activities in contact tracing and mandatory testing, it is not surprising that our positivity rate will rise, although, it is not that significant”.

He attributed the city’s improved COVID-19 situation to stricter implementation of COVID-19 policies and regulations. It included stricter contact tracing and surveillance activities to continue the downward trend of positive cases in the city.

This month, the National Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) classified the city at “minimum risk” and was now at “low risk.”

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