GENERAL SANTOS CITY: Health and local officials in South Cotabato raised alarm on Tuesday over the increasing cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) that are traced to public places, including events and related activities.
Dr. Rogelio Aturdido Jr., chief of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), said data gathered by their office showed an increasing rate of community transmission of the disease due to exposure to public areas.
He said that out of 2,145 confirmed cases recorded in the province as of Monday night, 86 percent or 1,855 are local cases or transmitted in local communities.
“Most of these are traced to public places, events, workplaces and households,” he said in a press conference in Koronadal City.
Aturdido said they are also concerned with the cumulative attack rate for Covid-19 in the province that is currently at 21.52 percent per 10,000 population, which means that 22 of every 10,000 people in the area are at risk of getting the disease.
He said the rate is much higher in Koronadal City, the province’s capital and lone component city, which reaches 51.96 percent.
Of the province’s 279 active cases, currently the highest in Region 12 (Soccsksargen), 131 are from Koronadal.
The active cases are 13.01 percent of the 2,145 cumulative infections since March last year, wherein 1,812 or 84.56 percent have so far recovered.
IPHO data showed that a total of 405 infections were already recorded in the area from April 1 to 26, way higher than the 323 cases during the initial surge in September last year.
South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. acknowledged that the Covid-19 situation in the province is already “very alarming.”
He said the allotted facilities in private hospitals are already getting full while the local government’s dedicated treatment facility in Surallah town is nearing its maximum limit.
The governor urged residents to avoid unnecessary movements, like attending parties and other related events or activities.
He said they are coordinating with the province’s 10 municipalities and lone city for the deployment of personnel that will monitor and ensure the observance of the minimum health standards in public places.
Tamayo cited the wearing of face mask and face shield, and the observance of safe physical distancing.
“We can only prevent the surge if everyone will cooperate and follow the health protocols,” he said.