DOH observes increase in COVID-19 cases in Visayas, Mindanao

Published May 18, 2021, 3:31 PM

by Analou de Vera

The Department of Health (DOH) said it is closely monitoring the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Visayas and Mindanao as they observe a rise in infections.


“Ang Luzon, though nag-plateau…may bahagyang pagbaba na tayo ng dami ng kaso na nakikita. Ngayon, itong nakikita natin sa Visayas at Mindanao…na ngayon ay pataas na po. Hindi sya napakabilis na pagtaas, pero may pagtaas tayo na nakikita (Cases in Luzon plateaued before…but we are now seeing a slight decrease in the number of cases. We are seeing an increase in Visayas and Mindanao. It is not a significant increase but we are seeing an upward trend),” said Dr. Alethea De Guzman, officer-in-charge of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau.

There is a “marked decline” in the number of cases in the National Capital Region, Calabarzon, and Central Luzon, said De Guzman.

However, a positive growth rate was observed in the following regions in Visayas: Western Visayas and Eastern Visayas. In Mindanao, there is a rise in cases observed in Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, and Bangsamora Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

The DOH also monitored an uptick in cases in two regions of Luzon: the Mimaropa and Bicol.

De Guzman said that the increase in cases in the said regions were mostly in “highly-urbanized areas.”

“Sa ngayon ang kadalasang naoobserbahan ng ating mga LGUs (local government units) ay yung pangangailangan na paigtingin yung pag adhere sa ating minimum public health standards (Right now, what our LGUs often observe is the need to intensify adherence to our minimum public health standards),” she said

“These are areas na mas loose ang restrictions…. As we loosen our restrictions, hindi dapat kalimutan ang pagma-mask, physical distancing, we need to avoid crowded areas so that we lessen our exposure (These are areas with loosen restrictions …. As we loosen our restrictions, we must not forget to wear masks, physical distancing, and we need to avoid crowded areas so that we lessen our exposure (to the virus]),” she added.

There is still no need yet to place these areas under stricter quarantine classification, said De Guzman.

“Rationale is even if we are seeing case increases, if our healthcare capacity can accommodate the case increase, we don’t need to increase the quarantine restrictions. For now, we don’t see the need, we don’t see such a scenario in these areas,” she said.