Video courtesy of Department of Health
MANILA (UPDATE) — The Department of Health on Thursday said it is monitoring an increase in COVID-19 cases in Regions 2, 7 and Caraga as the spread of the virus elsewhere in the country has slowed down.
Dr. Alethea de Guzman, medical specialist IV of the DOH’s Epidemiology Bureau, said during a virtual forum that the said regions have shown a “continuous increase in cases.”
Cases in Region 7 or Central Visayas in particular already peaked and then decreased in previous months but are again increasing although not as fast as before.
De Guzman said the regions are under a “moderate risk” classification.
For Region 2, the increase in cases were mostly from Cagayan Isabela, and Santiago City.
“Batanes is the only province right now where we did not record a new case in the last 28 days,” De Guzman said.
She said that for Region 7, “not all areas here are showing increases but increases seem to be happening in the province of Cebu as well as 3 cities - Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue.”
There are more new cases from Region 7 than from the National Capital Region for the past two days, according to ABS-CBN News Data Analytics Head Edson Guido.
On Thursday, 429 new cases were recorded in Region 7, the region's highest daily tally in more than six months.
The region has also recorded 800 new cases in the past two days.
Out of the 429 new cases, 246 are from Cebu City, while 29 are from Lapu-Lapu City and 23 are from Mandaue City.
Cebu province also logged 107 new cases.
For Caraga, new COVID-19 cases are coming from Agusan del Norte and Dinagat Islands.
“What’s good with Caraga is even though it is seeing an increase in cases hindi napupuno o nasasaturate ang health care facilities,” De Guzman said.
Other areas being closely monitored by the DOH are Mountain Province, Kalinga, Compostela Valley and Ifugao.
It can be recalled that 12 COVID-19 cases with the more transmissible United Kingdom variant were detected in Mountain Province in January.
While such increases have been noted, overall the COVID-19 cases in the Philippines have “plateaued.”
“After natin nag-peak nung Agosto unti unti na at dramatically nag-decrease,” De Guzman said.
(After we peaked in August, it slowly and dramatically decreased.)
She said the cases increased again during the first week of January because of the mass gatherings brought about by holiday celebrations.
“Kaya lang ang nakikita natin ngayon even though meron pa rin tayong nakikita, nagpaplateau sya o hindi na ganun kabilis ang pagtaas ng kaso natin nationally,” De Guzman said.
(But as we can see now, even through we can still see cases, they have plateaued or the increase is not as fast nationally.)
Despite this, she said they are still closely monitoring provinces that show even the slightest increase in cases since “outbreaks or spikes in cases can start very small.”
There are currently 543,282 COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, with 31,478 currently infected or considered active cases.