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After Holy Week break, Davao City task force braces for ‘mega surge’ of coronavirus cases

DAVAO CITY—This city is bracing for a likely “mega surge” in Covid-19 infection despite seeing a declining trend, as City Hall prepared additional quarantine and confinement facilities, expanded mandatory testing for close contacts of new infections, and encouraged private hospitals to prepare to participate in the admission of Covid-19 patients.

Davao City Covid-19 Task Force Focal Person Dr. Ashley Lopez said that the city is preparing a contingency plan for the potential mega surge of cases, anticipating the current spike being experienced in Metro Manila and some parts of Cebu may spill over to the rest of the country.

The plan includes preparations for temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMF), isolation and quarantine facilities, staffing, and encouraging private hospitals to participate and allocate hospital beds for Covid-19 patients.

The task force has started implementing the expanded mandatory testing of all close contacts in all levels of a Covid-19 positive patient. “When you say all levels, tanan nga [all those] possible close contacts, not only direct contacts like F1, but it involves also the second generation and third generation contacts. We will trace them so we could test them,” he said.

With more testing, the city task force could accurately assess the Covid-19 situation in Davao City, bailiwick of President Duterte,  Lopez added.

Aside from the expanded mandatory testing, the task force had also intensified case finding and surveillance of influenza-like illnesses and acute respiratory infections. “These are colds and coughs, fever that reaches 38 degrees and last for about 10 days or more.”

Lopez urged Dabawenyos experiencing said illnesses to help the government in its fight against Covid-19 by going to the nearest District Health Office and be scheduled for swab testing.

The city is yet to see the Covid-19 trend after the Lenten week last week, saying that while City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio has directed the closure of all resorts and tourism establishments during the week, she said residents might have skipped on it by going elsewhere in the region to frolic and disregard health protocols.

Lopez said how residents and visitors conducted themselves during the holiday week may be a likely source of a feared surge of cases.

So far, Mati City, the capital of Davao Oriental and one of the favorite holiday and tourism destinations in the region, has reported on Monday that it has not received any report of an infection case.

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