Editorial: Be wary, still

·2 min read

Should the public be worried that the number of coronavirus cases rose “noticeably” between Nov. 1 and 14, 2020?

According to the report of the Department of Health (DOH) 7’s Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, cases in Cebu City grew 302.9 percent; in Mandaue City, 485.7 percent; and in Lapu-Lapu City, 292.9 percent, during this period.

Figures that are well above the 200-mark should be enough to send shivers to everybody’s spine, especially since the whole country is still in the throes of a pandemic.

But look at the numbers again.

In Cebu City, the 35 new cases logged between Nov. 1 and 7 jumped to 141 between Nov. 8 and 14.

As of Wednesday night, Nov. 18, it had a total of 306 active Covid-19 cases in a population of nearly a million.

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH 7 spokesperson, was circumspect in her statement.

The recent spike could, “in a way,” be considered alarming, she said. However, the region’s health care capacities and its treatment and monitoring facilities and laboratories are “equipped to handle the situation.” “Then we are not so alarmed,” she added.

Residents of these three local governments and the rest of Cebu should take note.

Having been the epicenter of Covid-19 in the whole archipelago back in June had forced authorities to mobilize and concentrate their efforts on dealing with a worst-case scenario. Hence, logistics are in place.

In Cebu City, officials closed barangay isolation centers because there were not enough patients. But they can be reopened if the need arises, said City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the city’s Emergency Operations Center.

Nationwide, the disease has claimed 7,998 lives, according to aseanbriefing.com. That is less than .001 percent of its total population of more than 100 million.

The Philippine News Agency reported that ischemic heart disease alone killed 74,134 Filipinos in 2016.

But this doesn’t mean the public should be complacent. That’s what local authorities have been trying to drum into people’s heads since the number of Covid-19 cases started to fall.

Observe minimum health standards. At least, while the Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, is still in our midst.