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DOH says 'multitude of factors' driving rising COVID-19 cases in Visayas, Mindanao
Soldiers and health workers guard an anti-COVID-19 checkpoint in Maguindanao province.
The STAR/John Unson

DOH says 'multitude of factors' driving rising COVID-19 cases in Visayas, Mindanao

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - June 21, 2021 - 4:25pm

MANILA, Philippines — Various factors have given rise to the increase in new COVID-19 cases in Visayas and Mindanao, including complacency in following health protocols, the Department of Health said Monday.

In a briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said there were reports from the department’s regional offices that there was complacency in the implementation of health rules.

She also said there were clustering of cases in workplaces and prisons, which resulted in rising COVID-19 cases in those areas.

The presence of more infectious coronavirus variants could be also driving the increase in infections.

“Let us not say it’s just because of the variants. There are a multitude of factors,” Vergeire said.

Data from the DOH showed there were 13,314 active cases in Visayas and 14,426 active cases in Mindanao as of Sunday.

DOH Undersecretary Abdullah Dumama Jr., who heads the department’s field implementation and coordination team in Visayas and Mindanao, said three regions in Visayas and five regions in Mindanao were seeing positive two-week growth rate.

In an earlier statement, health authorities said biosurveillance activities for the detection of coronavirus variants will continue as parts of Visayas and Mindanao deal with rising COVID-19 cases.

Measures vs Delta variant

Vergeire said the agency recommended to local governments to implement “stricter” border control to prevent the spread of the more contagious Delta variant (B.1.617.2) of COVID-19.

The DOH also suggested more stringent compliance with health protocols, and speedy vaccination of eligible population and detection of positive cases.

The department reported the detection of four more cases of the Delta variant, bringing the total to 17 cases. The Delta variant, which was first identified in India, is becoming the globally dominant coronavirus variant, according to the World Health Organization.

Studies suggest it is more contagious and seems to have stronger resistance to vaccines than other forms of the disease.

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