Health authorities in South Cotabato province are preparing for another possible surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases even as it noted a decline in new infections in the past several days.
Dr. Rogelio Aturdido Jr., head of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), said Wednesday they have set a series of workshops with various health units and other concerned stakeholders in line with their “surge planning.”
He said the move will prepare the province, especially its health care resources, in case the area will experience another wave of Covid-19 spread.
“We might be relaxing right now but we don’t know what could happen next with our Covid-19 situation,” he said in a press conference.
As of Wednesday morning, the IPHO said the confirmed Covid-19 cases in the province already reached a total of 498, with nine related deaths and 331 recoveries.
The active cases so far decreased to 158 after 14 new recoveries and only five additional cases were recorded in the area on Tuesday night.
The report said 113 or 71 percent of the active cases have mild symptoms, 28 or 18 percent are asymptomatic and 17 or 11 percent have severe infections.
Of the cumulative 498 cases since March 12, a total of 312 were due to local transmission while 186 were “imported” or involved locally stranded individuals, returning overseas Filipinos, and residents with local travel history.
About 40 percent of the infections involved individuals aged 31 to 50 years old, 34 percent among 11 to 30 years old, 19 percent among 51 to 70 years old, 4 percent among 71 to 100 years old, and 3 percent among 10 years old and below.
Koronadal City posted the most number of confirmed cases with 226, followed by Polomolok with 111, Tupi with 30, Surallah with 28, Banga with 26, Tampakan with 16, Tantangan with 14, Tboli and Lake Sebu with 13 each, Sto. Nino with 12, and Norala with nine.
Aturdido said their assessment showed that the disease transmission in the province has slowed down in the past several days.
He cited specifically the cases of Polomolok and Koronadal City, which had recorded clustering and sustained community transmission of Covid-19.
“Our new infections previously ranged from 15 to more than 20 per day but now we have just five cases and even less,” he said.
The official urged residents to continually comply with the health protocols to help stop the disease transmission in the area.
He reiterated the use of face mask, face shield, regular sanitation and handwashing, observance of safe physical distancing, and avoiding crowded places as well as mass gatherings.
“We can beat Covid-19 if we just unite and cooperate with each other,” Aturdido said. (PNA)