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ROUGH CUTS | Intrigued by the situation




FOR THE past few days the Department of Health has reported a steady decline in the number of cases of new infections by the Corona Virus disease on the national level.

In fact the figure last Tuesday was at a little over 5 thousand, lower than Monday’s about 7 thousand. But of the said figures it was also learned that a substantial number came from data reported by the DOH’s various regions in Mindanao and the Visayas as well, although it is still admitted that the bulk of new CoViD infection cases come from the National Capital Region (NCR) and nearby areas included in the so-called NCR + Bubble.

But what seems to intrigue a lot of Mindanaoans is the fact that the total number of new cases in Mindanao does not seem to add up when the reported hike from the different regions, as reported, are being summed up.

Last Tuesday, several of our friends messaged us via Facebook or Messenger and over land line that they could not understand why when they did their math summing up the reported hike in new cases in the Zamboanga peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, BARMM, Central Mindanao, and the Caraga Regions the result was short of the reported total for the entire Mindanao as of the other day which was inching the 60 thousand level.

These friends of ours pointed out to us, that while the report on the CoViD situation in Davao City covers such areas as the number of barangays considered or not in the critical or high risk category, or about a new-born being infected in this and that barangay of the city, the various reports failed to mention the total of new infections.

However, what are normally carried are the totals of the accumulated cases since the start of the pandemic in March of 2020, the total number of deaths since the pandemic hit the city, the total recoveries, and the current vaccine roll-out activities. But unfortunately, for the past many weeks the reports on the CoViD situation do not anymore include the day-to-day figure of new infections.

Of course we can interpret this situation as the possible success of the various interventions made by the local authorities to slow down the virus. And that definitely is a welcome development.

We could only surmise, rather hesitantly, that if at all there are new cases in the city the number may just be so insignificant that the health authorities could have felt it does not deserve to be reported. This scenario of a successful battle against the dreaded virus is somewhat buttressed by the suspension of the use of the Food and Medicine Pass as a major requirement in the Davaoenos’ going out of their residences and the dismantling of some quarantine checkpoints or pulling out the men and women running these checkpoints.

But the bigger question postulated by many Davao residents is whether or not the absence – or lack of it – of such a component in the daily report on the CoViD situation in Davao City, is the real situation in this part of the Davao Region? This makes sense because as we have earlier mentioned the sum of the new cases in such areas as the Zamboangas, Northern Mindanao, Caraga Provinces, Central Mindanao LGUs, and in some provinces and cities in the Davao Region does not add up to the total daily increases all over the Mindanao island.

Moreover, some of these keen observers are saying that the daily hike on cases in such large and populous area as Davao City, should not be ignored in the reporting process, whether there is none or only a few, because the city’s mode of intervention could be replicated in other areas if they are to also achieve what Davao City has attained in the fight against the unseen enemy.

And what triggers more their suspicion that all is not really well as far as the pandemic situation in the city is concerned is the latest move by the local government to seek authority from the National Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) against new and emerging infectious diseases to put the borders of the city with other provinces and cities in the Southern Mindanao region in semi-closed status.

Good thing that what was granted is the semi-closure of regional borders instead. Had the original request been favored by the national IATF that would have raised loud growl of protests from many already restless residents.

Of course we are one with the city as far as the intention of the latter intervention is concerned. And who will not when semi-closing the borders will assure the protection of local residents from the travelling CoViD carriers. But again, if we have to reckon with the absence of reports of new daily hike in CoViD cases in the city over the past few weeks, it can only mean that the previous and ongoing anti-CoViD activities resorted to by the authorities had been effective in curbing the infection.

So, we cannot really blame those who are intrigued by the sudden adoption of a more stringent mode of intervention like the placing of borders under semi-closed even if it is supposed to prevent a possible surge in new cases.

After all, is it not uncommon that sometimes there is a need to deliberately hide the truth if only to prevent an even more devastating situation that can be triggered by unnecessary panic? Let us have our apprehensions be moderated by this reality.

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