Metro mayors urged: Prepare for post-holiday surge

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    METRO Manila mayors were urged yesterday by the Department of Health to ensure the readiness of their healthcare systems due to the expected post-holiday surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases that are starting to manifest.

    Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, in a radio interview, said it is imperative for Metro Manila mayors to enhance their COVID-19 response ahead of the expected surge in hospital admissions.

    He said that more than half of local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila have been seeing an uptick in their average daily attack rate.

    Duque said that in the National Capital Region, “some nine to 13 cities have seen increasing average daily attack rates. It manifests an increase in the number of new cases.

    “We are constantly meeting Metro Manila mayors to remind them to enhance their COVID-19 responses,” Duque said, adding: “This includes their monitoring, contact tracing, testing, and their isolation and quarantine facilities so that we can cut the chain of contamination.”

    DOH data showed that NCR continued to have the most number of new COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days with 3,942.

    Metro Manila cities with the highest number of new cases in the last two weeks were Quezon (903), Manila (507), Makati (410), Pasig (316), and Taguig (281).

    In its latest bulletin, the DOH reported 891 new cases nationwide yesterday, raising the number of cases in the country to 477,807. Having the highest number of cases were Davao City (65), Rizal (55), Isabela (50), Manila (40), and Quezon City (37).

    The DOH attributed the drop in the number of new cases to the fact that 11 laboratories failed to submit data on time and have not been included in the updated count.

    Four more succumbed to the deadly virus, raising the number of fatalities to 9,257 for a case fatality rate of 1.94 percent.

    There were 8,316 recoveries, meaning the number of survivors has risen to 448,258. The DOH said this means that 93.8 percent of COVID patients had recovered.

    Less the deaths and recoveries, there are 20,292 active cases, accounting for 4.2 percent of cases in the country.

    Of the active cases, 80.9 percent are mild cases, 8.2 percent are asymptomatic cases, 6.7 percent are critical cases, 3.6 percent are severe cases, and 0.58 percent are moderate cases.

    One more overseas Filipino has been infected with the deadly virus, raising the total to 12,892, with 911 deaths and 8,387 survivors.

    No fatality was reported yesterday.

    Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said Manila residents who spent the holidays outside NCR will be made to undergo COVID-19 tests before they could head home. The tests are free.

    Moreno said barangay officials had been informed of this move as early as last December 22 based on a memorandum issued by the City Health Department.

    Returning residents should stay in quarantine facilities while awaiting the results of their tests.

    The city health department has designated six quarantine facilities – T. Paez, Patricia Sports Complex, Arellano quarantine facility, Dapitan Sports Complex, San Andres Sports Complex and Bacood quarantine facility – for the returning residents.

    As of January 2, the city still had 298 active cases, down from the 1,500-plus active cases last July. Manila has recorded a total of 24, 948 cases since the pandemic began, with 750 having succumbed and 23, 900 having recovered.

    Taguig City Mayor Lino Cayetano said 13 more city residents have recovered from the virus, raising the number of recoveries to 10,491, while the number of cases has totaled 10,665.

    The number of deaths remained at 157. – With Ashzel Hachero and Noel Talacay