June 30, 2020
Nine provinces in Mindanao are being watched as "emerging hotspots" for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.
In a virtual press conference, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said there are nine provinces seeing a surge in cases.
"In Mindanao, yes, there are emerging hotspots. These areas have cases already but has suddenly seen a significant increase in COVID-19," said Vergeire.
In Northern Mindanao, identified as emerging hotspots are Bukidnon (seven total cases/three cases within 14 days), Lanao del Norte (8/4), and Mismis Occidental (17/6); while Davao del Norte (23/8), Davao del Sur (10/4), and Davao Oriental (7/3) were tagged in Davao Region.
The DOH said there is a surge in cases in South Cotabato (11/2) and Sultan Kudarat (8/2). Maguindanao (11/2) is now considered an emerging hotspot in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The DOH earlier said Cebu City, Cebu province, Ormoc City, Southern Leyte, Leyte, and Samar as emerging COVID-19 hotspots.
Asked if the program of the national government of sending people back to their hometowns could be a factor in the surge in cases, Vergeire said: "There are a lot of factors, but I am not discounting the possibility that the natural movement of people is a contributor to the hotspot or to the sudden appearance of cases in specific areas.''
She said this is likely considering that beneficiaries of programs, such as Hatid Probinsya and Balik Probinsya, come from Metro Manila, where there is community transmission.
"If one is coming from an area, which has community transmission or sustained community transmission, and then going inside an area that, while not sterile, has no large number of cases, that can be a contributor because we know how the disease spreads," said Vergeire. DMS
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