The Department of Health (DOH) said community transmission is the primary cause of the surge in coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 cases in the country.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, at a press briefing, said they have been analyzing the factors that contributed to the rising trend of infections in the past days.
“There are many factors that we are studying. There are cases that came from the repatriates, or what we call the ‘imported.’ Others are from workers and the closed institutions,” she noted, referring to detention facilities and even the Metro Rail Transit Line 3.
But Vergeire revealed DOH could no longer link of current cases to any positive case.
“We call it ‘community transmission.’ Most of what’s happening right now is because of community transmission,” she added.
DOH said, “this is precisely why everybody needs to religiously subscribe to our minimum public health standards.”
“It may sound repetitive, but we will not stop reminding everyone to wear masks, observe physical distancing, sanitize. This is DOH’s call to everybody, whether you be in the private or public sector,” she said.
By engaging in non-essential activities to go out, an individual is risking his loved ones to an “unseen enemy,” DOH added.
“Protect yourself. By doing so, you protect your family, you protect your community, you protect the nation,” the agency said.
Meanwhile, epidemiologist Troy Gepte said the country’s overall response to the pandemic should focus on two things.
First is surveillance to establish where and when a COVID-19 infection took place and who was affected.
“We have good examples from the local government units. They have tried to zero in not on whole city but on specific areas like barangay, neighborhood, and even household,” he claimed.
“We identify cases, find contacts, quarantine those contacts, and for the cases, we put them in quarantine, either at home or in quarantine facilities,” he said.
Gepte added the Philippines has a lot of temporary treatment and monitoring facilities, but they are “perfectly underutilized.”
As of July 9, the Philippines recorded 51,754 cases, 1,314 deaths, and 12,813 recoveries.