There is a “very strong possibility” that coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases will surge in overcrowded evacuation centers among victims of Typhoon “Ulysses,” the Department of Health (DOH) said.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Friday the designated “safety officers [at the evacuation centers] should keep a close watch” and implement safety protocols of the department to make sure evacuees follow minimum health guidelines on Covid-19 prevention.
At another briefing, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire reminded Ulysses evacuees to observe safety protocols.
“We should wear our face masks at all times,’’ she said. “We know it is very difficult to do in situations such as this, but we have to do it. It is through this that we can help prevent being infected.”
She added local governments should help ensure that the evacuees are adequately supplied with face masks, and wearing cloth masks should be discouraged as these are no longer considered effective against Covid-19.
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) data show that a total of 40,518 families, or 156,995 people, have been affected by Ulysses in 648 villages in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Bicol regions. The breakdown of the numbers show this comprised of 18,818 families or 70,294 people staying in 755 evacuation centers as of Friday.
The DOH on Friday reported 1,902 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the country’s total active cases at 34,058 or 8.4 percent of the total cases. The DOH also reported 506 new recoveries from Covid-19, bringing the country’s total to 362,903.
In its daily Covid-19 bulletin, the DOH said 89.7 percent of the country’s Covid-19 cases have recovered while a total of 7,752 individuals, or 1.92 percent of the total, have succumbed to Covid-19.Of these active cases, 83.9 percent were exhibiting mild symptoms, followed by those without symptoms at 9.4 percent, those in critical condition at 4.3 percent, those with severe symptoms at 2.3 percent, and those with moderate symptoms at 0.12 percent. SOVEREIGNPH