MANILA - The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday said Davao City should not be considered as the new epicenter of COVID-19 in the Philippines, despite the rise of fresh cases in the Mindanaoan city.
In a report from independent research group OCTA, Davao City recorded an average of 213 fresh COVID-19 cases, higher than the 207 cases from Quezon City, which used to log the most number of new coronavirus patients.
"Davao City is not an epicenter," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a statement.
"We discourage the use of the term 'epicenter' in describing the rise of cases in an area," she said.
Epidemic epicenters are "meant to connote the area as a hotspot for the infection," but may be "interpreted by some to refer to an area as the source of the infection," the Undersecretary said.
"Using the term 'epicenter' detracts from other surrounding areas which may be equally or more affected by COVID-19," she said.
Malacañang earlier said it was "unfair" to compare the COVID-19 situation in President Rodrigo Duterte's hometown and Quezon City.