DOH: Be on high alert amid threat of surge in Covid-19 cases

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

December 18, 2020, 6:31 pm

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday called on the public to remain vigilant and on "high alert" as it cited the risk of increased transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) due to the holiday season.
"With increased mobility, there's an increased contact rate and transmission so there's the possibility the cases would rise," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said during a virtual conference with government media.
To prevent this, Duque said the public must understand the importance of cooperation by way of strict compliance to the minimum health and safety standard imposed by the government.
On Dec. 18 alone, the DOH recorded a spike in confirmed Covid-19 cases, recording some 2,122 new infections in a day.
Previously, the DOH revealed the "continuous growth of cases in Metro Manila, signaling the start of a surge" as well as the "slowing down" of the previous improvement in the epidemic curve.
Nine cities are now at moderate risk compared to last month when all cities were at low risk. The average daily attack rate in all Metro Manila cities is also higher than the national average, DOH said.
If the trend continues, the DOH expects a "sharp spike of cases" that could possibly overwhelm the country's health system capacity, similar to the peak experienced in August in Metro Manila.
Duque said the DOH will continue its efforts to ensure that the high-density places in the country are following the health protocols, especially now that Christmas is approaching.
He said his team will also continue visiting areas such as supermarkets, transport stations, and malls to monitor their compliance. (PNA)