Mayor Duterte warns of surge in Covid cases in Davao City

March 5 2021 Around 300 medical workers at the Fabella Hospital in Manila wait for their turn to get inoculated with Sinovac Covid19 vaccine on the 5th day of the roll-out of the vaccine on friday, even as most medical frontliners prefer to wait for other vaccines developed by other countries. INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

A second surge of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases is not a remote possibility in Davao City if its residents become negligent in following health protocols, Mayor Sara Z. Duterte warned on Monday.

In a radio interview, Duterte pointed to the emerging cases in other parts of the country involving deadlier Covid-19 variants.

“We have seen a surge in cases among our neighbors and in areas such as Cebu and Metro Manila because of the UK variant that is easier to transmit. Because travel policies have recently been relaxed, don’t expect we would be spared,” Duterte said in vernacular.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has recently softened travel policies across the country with the lifting of travel documents and making the Covid-19 testing optional for local government units.

The mayor said easing of travel requirements calls for intensified enforcement of existing health policies such as curfew, liquor ban, regulation of mass gatherings, and the minimum health standards.

More importantly, the mayor said Davao City residents must continue to seriously observe the health standards such as wearing masks, social distancing, and proper handwashing.

Duterte recalled that Davao City experienced the highest active number of cases sometime in December 2020 and in January when cases reached a staggering 2,600 on a single day.

‘We should focus on the minimum public standards and fast-track the vaccination of health workers, and hopefully other allied hospital institutions,” she said.

Currently, the city’s active cases stood at an average of 600 cases per day. As of March 7, the city recorded 624 new active cases.

Local health authorities have earlier said they aim to vaccinate 1.2 million Davao City residents, requiring some 2.4 million doses administered in two jabs.

Duterte said she remains hopeful the number of targeted doses would be reached this year.

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