No significant increase in Covid-19 cases during holy week - DOH

There has been no significant increase in Covid-19 cases in any part of the country during the observance of holy week, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Tuesday, April 19.

Locals flock to Balaan Bukid (Holy Mountain) in Jordan town, Guimaras province Friday, April 15. Unlike in the past, the pilgrimage site is only open for Guimaras residents. (Photo courtesy of Daniella Jane Sarabia)

In DOH's media forum, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that despite this, they are closely monitoring some areas who have recorded positive one-week and two-week growth rates.

"But based on our analysis and close monitoring, yung mga pagtaas ng kaso nila hindi lumalagpas ng (the increase does not go beyond) 20 cases. So it's still not significant," she added.

What's important, according to her when seeing a spike in cases, is to check if the healthcare utilization rate (HCUR) is also increasing. In DOH"s monitoring, she mentioned that they have not seen any increase in the HCUR.

There are however, areas that experience a slight uptick in their HCUR mainly because they only have one or three beds dedicated for Covid-19 patients. Vergeire said that if all these beds get occupied it results to 100 percent HCUR.

"Right now no significant increases, no signiicant effect in our HCUR," she said.

During the President's pre-recorded public address on Monday night, April 18, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that they are seeing a gradual increase of Covid-19 cases in 14 areas under Alert Level 1.

Vergeire said that these areas are in Region 4B, Region III, Region 11, Caraga, Region 1, Region 2, CAR and Region 8.

She explained that it's because these areas previously had zero Covid-19 cases but then experienced a positive one-week growth rate with an increase of one to three cases per area. She also mentioned that it does not mean that the increase in cases are significant since it does not affect their HCUR.