The Department of Health (DOH) said it does not consider Davao City as an “epicenter” of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) amid the continuous spike of infections in the area.
“Davao City is not an epicenter,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Wednesday, June 9.
Vergeire said that the DOH discourages the use of the term “epicenter” in “describing the rise of cases in an area.”
“Epicenter, in relation to epidemics, are interpreted by some to refer to an area as the source of the infection. It is also meant to connote the area as a hotspot for the infection,” said Vergeire.
“These areas are not the origin of the COVID-19 virus. Moreover, using the term ‘epicenter’ detracts from other surrounding areas which may be equally or more affected by COVID-19,” she added.
Vergeire said that selected areas in the National Capital Region as well as Davao City were among their “flagged areas because these had High Risk case metrics.” These metrics include the two-week growth rate or average daily attack rate and “high to critical risk health care and ICU utilization rates,” she noted.
“We do not compare counts alone as they are all of equal importance based on these metrics,” she said.
Vergeire made the statement after the Octa Research Group said that Davao City has surpassed Quezon City in terms of new COVID-19 cases.
Based on Octa’s report, the number of new cases per day in Davao City was at 213 from June 1 to 7.
For Quezon City, the estimated number of daily cases was at 207 during the same period.
“We continue to closely monitor the situation in Davao City due to increasing cases,” said Vergeire.