Muntinlupa’s new Covid-19 cases not community-acquired – health officer

The new Covid-19 cases recorded in Muntinlupa are traveling individuals and Chinese nationals, and not community-acquired, the health office said.

On April 19, the Muntinlupa City government announced the latest Covid-19 tally, showing the addition of nine new cases and two new recoveries, which brought the total active cases to 13 from six on April 18.

The tally alarmed some netizens amid warnings by experts that the Philippines may experience another surge in Covid-19 cases by next month if people fail to comply with minimum public health standards.

During the “Laging Handa” public briefing on April 18, World Health Organization (WHO) representative to the Philippines Dr. Rajendra Yadav was asked if he agreed with the assessment that the country’s active cases could reach 300,000 by mid-May due to non-compliance with health standards.

“Yes, I have seen those numbers,” said Yadav. “So, we have to prove those numbers are wrong. That’s the challenge to be faced. If we have the local read that we don’t have the vaccines in many barangays and many provinces and if we relax our guards, if we relax our defenses, then yes, it’s possible to get to those numbers!”

Regarding the slight increase in new Covid-19 cases in Muntinlupa, City Health Office acting chief Dr. Juancho Bunyi said, “The increase in cases is attributed to those traveling individuals who tested positive during routine tests and are housed in a hotel within the city and are near recovery.”

“No community transmission as observed, all have history of travel from other places,” he said.

Of the nine new Covid-19 cases on April 19, four are staying in one of the hotels in Alabang, Muntinlupa “and all will recover tomorrow,” he said. They are in a business trip in Muntinlupa and were swabbed based on protocols.

Three Chinese nationals also tested positive and are staying in Ayala Alabang. He said one already recovered while another became uncooperative but presumed to have recovered based on history.

Another case is in a hospital who tested positive upon confinement. The source of the infection is being traced.

Muntinlupa has maintained single-digit numbers of active cases for weeks. On April 20, the Muntinlupa City Health Office reported zero new cases and two recoveries, bringing the total active cases to 11.

Yadav noted that "the good thing is that Filipinos are one of the best in terms of wearing a mask, so that needs to continue. There was some decline recently in the mask wearing, that should not happen and we have to cover our people with vaccines. So, these are the two best things we can do – masking and vaccination."