To discuss critical measures in addressing the ongoing pandemic and other challenges and concerns surrounding peace and order, the members of the Provincial Peace and Order and Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Councils have met yesterday, January 18, 2021, for their first quarter meeting.
Presided by the PPOC and PADAC Chairman Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, the meeting highlighted Davao Oriental’s current situation with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Reden Bersaldo, Action Officer of the Provincial Task Force Against COVID-19, stated his deep concerns about the sudden surge of COVID-19 cases in the province in the last two weeks since the holiday season.
“While Davao Oriental is at the second to the last spot in terms of the number of COVID-19 cases (in Davao Region), the cases in Davao Oriental have been exponentially increasing in the last two weeks alone.” As of Monday, the number of COVID-19 cases in the province has already reached 106.
This surge, says Dr. Bersaldo, is attributed to the recent holiday season since there are many returning residents from areas of community transmission, unchecked mass gathering, and people have become complacent with the observance of the Minimum Health protocols.
Governor Dayangirang also warned elected local officials who are not cooperating with the Task Force in divulging active COVID-19 cases which is a violation of the RA 11132 or the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act”.
Currently, the case fatality in the province is at 1.7% from 0.9% about three months ago. He said that “the mere increase of 0.1 percent is already a very alarming indication of how we are addressing Covid especially severe cases in our province,” he said.
Meanwhile, the province has a positivity rate of 4.6%. He said that while the Department of Health says a positivity rate of below 5% is still low, the province’s attack rate and growth rate and the two-week growth rate is still alarming.
Moreover, the recovery rate of the province is currently at 83%. He said this is a 10 percent decrease from our recovery rate last month.
With the alarming situation, the Provincial Task Force COVID-19 recommended to the PPOC to consider adopting new measures in order to mitigate the sudden surge of COVID-19 cases in the province, which include the possible implementation of a General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
Governor Dayanghirang and City of Mati Mayor Michelle Rabat proposed to explore other options other than the implementation of GCQ since this would hurt the business sector which has only started recovering after reeling from last year’s effects of the quarantine.
Local Chief Executive of the province is expected to come up with new measures after a scheduled meeting today, January 19.
Meanwhile, Dr. Bersaldo appealed to the general public to take Minimum Health Protocols seriously as it is the sure way to fight the spread of the disease. “The most dangerous thing about COVID is to think it is not dangerous at all.”
Aside from the COVID-19 situation, also discussed during the meeting are the accomplishments of the province in terms of peace and order which include the status of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program for former rebels, the implementation of programs under President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 70 or Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, presentation of the programs under the Peace and Order and Public Safety, and the province’s efforts on anti-drug abuse, among many others.
Among the members present during the meeting is League of Municipality President Tarragona Mayor Nestor Uy, City of Mati Mayor Michelle Rabat, 701st Brigade Deputy Commander Col. Oliver Maquiling together with the Battalion Commanders of the 67th IB, 66th IB, and 71st IB, and DOPPO Deputy Provincial Director for Administration Police Colonel Ferlito Jose Mejia, among other members of the councils. KLD-PIO