Gov’t monitoring Covid-19 surges in 22 areas outside NCR

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MANILA – Malacañang said on Wednesday that the government is monitoring the increasing rate of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in 22 areas outside Metro Manila.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, acting presidential spokesperson, stated that authorities are working closely with the regional Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and are closely monitoring the following areas:

– Calabarzon
– Central Luzon
– Ilocos Region
– Dagupan City
– Cordillera Administrative Region
– Baguio City
– Cebu Province
– Cebu City
– Lapu-lapu City
– Mandaue City
– Iloilo Province
– Iloilo City
– Bacolod City
– Cagayan de Oro City
– Davao City
– General Santos City
– Ormoc City
– Naga City
– Western Samar
– Tacloban City
– Biliran
– Zamboanga del Sur

“What we’re seeing now is while cases in Metro Manila and in fact some areas in Region 4-A and 3 are slowing down in terms of the growth rate, we’re seeing higher growth rates in those (abovementioned) areas,” he said in a CNN Philippines interview.

According to Nograles, these areas of concern must further expand hospital bed capacities for Covid-19 patients to prevent their respective health care utilization rate (HCUR) from exceeding 70 percent.

Meanwhile, the government is expanding telemedicine services in these areas in order to better prepare patients who will be placed in home isolation if the number of cases continues to rise.

“Like what happened here in NCR, we reserved the beds for severe and critical and moderate cases while mild and asymptomatic can do home isolation,” Nograles said.

The government, he said, is also set to declare the alert level of Metro Manila for February 1 to 15 over the weekend. He added an IATF-EID meeting is scheduled for January 27.

“That would be one of the topics that we will be discussing. We’ll look at what the numbers look like in terms of bed utilization rate, the average daily attack rate (ADAR), and the two-week growth rate,” he said.

“Perhaps we’ll have to make a decision as far as Metro Manila is concerned over the weekend because the weekend is closer to February 1 and what we want to do is to make a decision on alert levels as closest to February 1 as possible,” he said.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.