DOH sees downward trend in COVID-19 cases, warns public vs complacency

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DOH sees downward trend in COVID-19 cases, warns public vs complacency
Residents commute to work on bicycles in Manila on September 28, 2020.
AFP / AC Dimatatac

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health said the country is reporting fewer cases of new coronavirus daily but it advised the public to be vigilant against the virus and continue practicing minimum health standards.

Although clusters of COVID-19 infections continue to be reported, the average number of additional cases per week has gone down, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a briefing Monday.

"When we look at the number of cases and we look at the trends of average cases per week, we can see that it is decreasing," she said in Filipino.

Health authorities have been tallying less than 3,000 infection daily over the past few days.

“But we can also see the increase in the number of cases in some areas, that’s why we always say we cannot be complacent at this point. The practice of minimum health standards should remain. We have to remain vigilant,” she added.

Researchers studying the coronavirus outbreak in the country also noted a decline in the number of cases in the country, including the capital region. But they warned that the premature relaxation of quarantine measures in Metro Manila would result in an “exponential” rise in cases by Christmas.

Recalibrated strategies

The health official said the establishment of the One Hospital Command system and the implementation of Oplan Kalinga helped in easing pressure on hospitals.

Under the One Hospital Command system, mildly-ill patients and those who show no symptoms will be transferred to temporary monitoring systems. Under Oplan Kalinga, mild and asymptomatic cases are endorsed to government-run quarantine facilities.

The active surveillance of COVID-19 cases also helped, Vergeire said.

“All of these things taken together, we see these are having positive effects,” she added.

The new coronavirus has so far infected over 304,000 people in the Philippines, with 252,510 recoveries and 5,344 deaths.


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