DOH declares national dengue epidemic
The Department of Health ( DOH) on Tuesday declared a national dengue epidemic as cases and deaths continue rising.
"The Department of Health has requested the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council ( NDRRMC) chair Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to convene a full council meeting and declare a national dengue epidemic in the wake of the 146,062 cases since January up to July this year," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a press briefing.
"This is 98 percent higher than the same period in 2018," he added.
Duque also reported fatalities due to dengue rose to 622.
Citing the DOH Dengue Surveillance Report, Duque said the most number of cases were in Western Visayas with 23,330, followed by Calabarzon with 16,515, Zamboanga Peninsula with 12,317, Northern Mindanao with 11,455 and Soccskargen with 11,083 cases.
"It is important that a national epidemic be declared in these area to identify where a localized response is needed, and to enable the local government units to use their Quick Response Fund to address the epidemic situation," Duque explained.
For the past three consecutive weeks, seven out of seventeen regions have overshot the dengue epidemic threshold. Among these regions are Calabarzon with 16,515 cases; Mimaropa, 4,254; Bicol, 3,470; Western Visayas 23,330; Eastern Visayas, 7,199; Zamboanga Peninsula with 12,317; and Northern Mindanao with 11,455 cases.
Ilocos with 4,396 cases, Central Visayas with 10,728; and BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) with 2,301 also exceeded the alert threshold level.
Duque said July 14 to 20 or during the 29th Morbidity Week, there were 10,052 cases. According to the health secretary, it is 71 percent higher than the same period in 2018.
"Starting today, the Department of Health together with other government agencies, LGUs, schools, offices, and communities will conduct the Sabayang 4-O'clock Habit para Deng-Get Out, focusing on search and destroy of mosquito breeding sites," Duque said.
The program will serve as one of DOH's primary interventions to prevent and control dengue. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS