PH not under ‘state of calamity’ over dengue outbreak — DOH

Photo credit: DOH,
  • DOH will not place the country under a state of calamity because of dengue
  • The rise in number of cases does not reflect situation of whole Philippines
  • Provinces of Cavite, Bulacan placed under state of calamity

Some provinces in the Philippines have been declared under a state of calamity because of increasing numbers of dengue cases, but placing the whole country under a state of calamity is not included in the Department of Health’s (DOH’s) plans.

“I would like to correct the impression that this situation just happened for the first time. We are comparing the cases to a year that recorded a very low number of cases. I don’t want it to be magnified that way [that as if this is the first time it happened],” Health Spokesperson Lyndon Lee Suy said, as shared in a Manila Bulletin report published on Friday, October 2.

The most recent nationwide data from the DOH showed that a total of 78,808 dengue cases was recorded from January 1 to September 5 this year; noting an increase of 16.5 percent compared to 67,637 cases in the same period last year.

Lee Suy, on the other hand, said that the rise in the number of cases does not reflect the whole situation of the country.

“Many regions are reporting a decrease in dengue cases,” he said.

Date revealed that while an increase was noted in seven Philippine regions, 10 regions recorded a decline from last year’s number of cases: Mimaropa now has 1,346 from 1,646; Bicol Region has 868 from 993; Western Visayas has 3,756 from 5,718; Central Visayas has 3,326 from 3,481; Eastern Visayas has 737 from 4,508; Zamboanga Peninsula has 3,981 from 4,743; Northern Mindanao has 5,795 from 6,298; Davao Region has 2,619 from 5,849; Soccsksargen has 5,109 from 5,302; and Caraga has 2,508 from 6,046.

Even as “the agency acknowledges that there is an increasing trend and there are a number of areas with a high number of dengue cases,” the spokesperson stressed that this is not enough to push the agency to place the country under a state of calamity.

In 2012, dengue cases were much higher with 124,173 cases in the same period. From January 1 to September 7, 2013, there was a total of 117,658 cases nationwide. Then it decreased to 67,637 cases in 2014.

Currently, only the provinces of Cavite and Bulacan has declared a state of calamity but many are experiencing the height of dengue outbreaks.

For instance, in Metro Manila, health official are already prepared for an overflow of dengue patients from Cavite to hospitals in the metropolis.

San Lazaro Hospital, one of Manila hospitals, has added dengue to its Code White alert; wherein all hospital staff are on standby round the clock and medicines and other supplies are prepositioned. To note, dengue admissions in San Lazaro Hospital have more than doubled in August compared to the same month last year.