The Department of Health (DOH) reported 12 additional positive coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases (PH53-64), bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 64.
The DOH and deployed surveillance teams, in cooperation with concerned Local Government Units (LGUs), are now conducting extensive information-gathering and contact tracing activities on the new cases.
“We continually ask the public to cooperate and help us in the investigation and contact tracing activities. Please contact DOH and call the designated hotline at (02) 8-651-7800 loc 1149-1150 for any new leads. For those who are confirmed cases, please let our hospitals take care of you. Studies show that chances of recovery are high. Let us take it upon ourselves to protect our family and our community’s health and well-being,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said, in a statement issued Friday evening.
DOH data show that elderly people (average of 66 years) and those with underlying medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic lung disease, and immunosuppression are vulnerable to the disease.
“We further urge those who are immunocompromised and are with existing health conditions to be more vigilant and avoid crowded areas and mass gatherings,” said Duque.
“I also implore everyone to please stop hoarding basic commodities, particularly hygiene and sanitation products. It does not help us fight off COVID-19. Realize that when you hoard, you are being part of the problem by denying the rest of your fellowmen the means to protect themselves,” the Health Chief said.
Meanwhile, the DOH expressed support over President Rodrigo Duterte’s proclamation to immediately activate Code Red Level 2, the highest level of national response management, and adopt the recommendations of the DOH Technical Advisory Group to impose stringent social distancing measures in Metro Manila for 30 days.
This came after the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) headed by the DOH held an expanded emergency meeting earlier to discuss efforts on the growing threat of the COVID-19 health emergency and recommended a community quarantine for Metro Manila.
“We at the Department of Health are in full support of the President’s proclamation, and are all geared up to implement his directives. The decision to implement a community quarantine was made in the best interest of the public. I enjoin everyone—young and old—to cooperate fully with our government. Together, we can contain COVID-19,” Duque said./Stacy Ang