MANILA - The chief implementer of the Philippine pandemic response strategy on Wednesday praised Cebu City and Metro Manila for their performance in curbing the spread of COVID-19.
National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19 policy chief implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. said in a public briefing that Cebu City's change of behavior led to a successful response against the outbreak after being severely hit by the deadly disease.
"Nakita po natin ngayon ang ganda ng performance ng Cebu. Dahil last week... 7 days na wala po silang casualty, wala silang death na reported," he said.
Last July, Cebu City was placed under strict lockdown after it logged high daily numbers of infections, alarming both local and national authorities. President Rodrigo Duterte blamed the surge on residents' disregard for quarantine protocols.
The lockdown was gradually lifted in Cebu City after daily cases decreased.
Galvez noted the city has recorded low number of COVID-19 cases since it shifted to a relaxed modified general community quarantine in Sept. 1.
"Nakita po natin maganda po ang ating change of tactics. Nakita po natin na ang lumalaban dito sa ating pandemiya ay 'yung mga taumbayan," he said.
Galves lauded also local government officials in Metro Manila, after authorities reported a decrease in active COVID-19 cases in the region from 20,000 in September to 7,830 in October.
"More or less 20 percent na active cases doon sa mga complete cases, ngayon 6 percent na lang po. Ibig sabihin na ma-manage na po ng ating mga local government units," he said.
The official stressed the importance of sending self-isolating COVID-19 patients to facilities in curbing the outbreak. Galvez said that around 32,000 cases, mostly in Metro Manila, were sent to hotels and quarantine centers.
"Kung hindi po 'yan nailabas at naidala sa mga hotels, ay mag-mumultiply po yan. Baka ngayon po meron po tayong active cases na more than 100,000."
Earlier Wednesday, the Philippines' total tally climbed by 1,910 new coronavirus cases to 346,536, the second straight day that additional daily confirmed infections were below 2,000.
This is the lowest daily increase since Sept. 22, according to ABS-CBN Data Analytics.
A research group composed of professors from the University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas, estimates that COVID-19 cases in the country will reach 380,000 to 410,000 by the end of October.
Since the start of the pandemic, 38.1 million people have been infected by the COVID-19 virus, according to the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) coronavirus dashboard. Of those, 1,086,315 have died and almost 26.5 million have recovered.