MANILA — Philippines is seeing an over-all decrease in the number of coronavirus cases, the Department of Health said, but noted that some areas have shown an increase in the number of infections.
“Ngayon naga-average ng 2,400 cases which is a trend for a 7-day weekly average,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing.
(Now, we are averaging 2,400 cases, which is a trend for a 7-day weekly average.)
Vergeire recalled how the country saw a high number of cases when the National Capital Region was placed under a modified enhanced community quarantine in August. She also pointed out that cases were at the 3,000 level in the past weeks.
“We can see that we have this good direction sa ngayon. Maganda ang indikasyon,” she said.
(We can see that we have this good direction for now. The indications are good.)
However, she said Filipinos must not be complacent.
“Pero nakakakita tayo ng mga lugar sa specific sa bansa na nakakakita ng increase in the growth rate (of cases) for the past 2 weeks. So binabantayan natin ng maigi yan,” she said, without mentioning the places.
(But we are also seeing specific places in the country where there is increase in the growth rate for the past 2 weeks. So we are closely monitoring those.)
She said the improvement is also seen in the health systems capacity or the occupancy of hospitals.
She attributed the change in COVID-19 case trends to improvements in the government’s response.
“Ang isa sa mga pinaka-critical na nakapagbigay nitong improvement would be yung improved efficiency in contact tracing na ginagawa sa local govenment units,” she said.
She also cited the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) strategy, which involves active case finding in communities.
Vergeire said it also helped that there are now more contact tracers and Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTS). As of this week, the country has 39,347 BHERTS, which means most of the country’s 42,000 barangays have their own team.