“Unstoppable: COVID-19 Cases Tend to Grow Because of Further Studies, Steps Missed”


The Department of Health (DOH) related the rise in COVID-19 cases to its expanded monitoring capability and inability by the public to follow the minimum safety requirements it imposed to monitor the dissemination of the emerging coronavirus that triggers the extreme respiratory disease.

According to Maria Rosario Vergeire, Health Under-Secretary, the rise in the number of people reporting positive for SARS-CoV-2, the causative virus of COVID-19, was partially attributed to continuing pathogen spread in populations attributed to “lack of enforcement of minimum safety requirements.”

She appeals to everyone to always follow our basic health standards, such as wearing masks, constant hand-washing, and physical distance, particularly in confined areas and in places without proper ventilation. They anticipate cases to continue to rise when they open up because there are more people-to-people interaction and many still fail to obey their minimum health protocols Vergeire reiterated the need for strict compliance with the health measures, particularly since recent studies have found a virus mutation which makes it more contagious.

Dr. Edsel Salvana, an infectious disease researcher and part of the DOH scientific advisory committee, said earlier that the D614G mutation “making the virus more contagious,” which ensures it will propagate more rapidly and overtake the health network in the country “if we do not double our prevention efforts.

Mutations do occur with [the] COVID-19 virus, which is now more common in the world and appears to be more infectious. So they continue to monitor this development and, as they speak, their scientists are sequencing some of their local viruses.

The DOH registered further 1,540 infections taking the national count to 47,873. Of the new cases recorded from 69 of the 74 accredited laboratories, 993 were positively tested in the last three days. The largest number of such cases reported by Metro Manila, 428, followed by Central Visayas, which had 109.

The remaining of new cases, or 547, were patients who tested positive four or earlier days ago. The majority of these cases also had Metro Manila, 191, while Central Visayas had 65. There is currently a record of 12,386 patients who benefited from COVID-19 and an additional 201 patients recovering.

Commenting on Tuesday’s the number of coronavirus infections, Sen. Joel Villanueva said the Philippines did not perform epidemiological surveillance in real-time to track the spread of the COVID-19 bug and identified the existing efforts as “passive surveillance.”

The word applies to a program in which the health sector only collects information from hospitals, clinics, public health centers, and other outlets, Villanueva said, quoting a World Health Organization concept.

According to Villanueva, the absence of real-time coronavirus tracking illustrates how health officials mishandled the situation. He warned that poor management of the crisis could erode the confidence of businesses and hinder government efforts to revive the economy.

He said the government is adjusting tactics in combating the virus by transferring liability for controlling it to local governments, the private sector, and the public themselves. Local authorities, he said, will now impose focused lockdowns where there are infections — barangay, street, or house.

He encouraged companies to be more involved by monitoring their workers as the government extended its capacity to track, monitor communications, and separate and handle.

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