The Department of Health is now closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in the country, wary that the increase in holiday outdoor activities may have had an effect.
As of yesterday, Jan. 10, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country is at 487,690—with 20,087 active cases, 458,198 recoveries, and 9,405 deaths.
In an interview on ABS-CBN's Teleradyo, DOH spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire asked Catholic devotees who physically celebrated the Feast of the Black Nazarene last Saturday, Jan. 9 to keep tabs on their health after the crowd estimate that reached 400,000 in the morning, according to the Manila Police District.
"Nagpalabas po kami ng aming mga paalala pagkatapos nitong pagdiriwang na ito na ma-monitor ng mga taong pumunta dun ang kanilang mga sarili,” Vergeire said. "At kung sakaling magmanifest ng symptoms ay agad-agad magpakonsulta so that we can immediately quarantine or isolate."
"We are now looking at the trends of cases at binabantayan po natin dahil baka ngayong linggo lumabas yung epekto ng holiday activities," she added. "So sana po, 'wag naman po madagadagan pa at macontrol pa rin po natin ang pagdami ng kaso dito sa ating bansa."
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, according to the Philippine News Agency (PNA), reminded the public in December to stay on “high alert” as he discussed the heightened risk of virus transmission during the season. “With increased mobility, there’s an increased contact rate and transmission so there’s the possibility the cases would rise,” he said during a press briefing.
In the same article, PNA said that the department previously noted the “continuous growth of cases in Metro Manila, signaling the start of the surge” and the “slowing down of the previous improvement in the epidemic curve.”
The OCTA Research Group in a December report has stated that "a surge" in COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila already happened in the same month, calling it a “serious cause for concern.”
Article thumbnails by Edd Gumban via The Philippine Star