Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III on Tuesday declared a National Dengue Epidemic in the wake of 146,062 cases recorded since January to July 20 this year.
The declaration took place shortly after a full council meeting at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
In a press briefing at the NDRRMC, Duque said the reported cases are 98 percent higher compared to the same period in 2018.
There are also 622 dengue deaths recorded this year.
“It is important that a National Epidemic be declared to identify if a localized response is needed, and to enable the local government units to use their Quick Response Fund to address the epidemic situation,” Duque said.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, as NDRRMC chair, issued a memorandum to all disaster response units across the country for the strict implementation of the national dengue epidemic declaration.
“In connection with today’s full NDRRMC council meeting, I, as the chairman of the NDRRMC, issued a memorandum circular subject, enjoining all member agencies to support the nationwide dengue epidemic response. Ibig sabihin nito lahat ng mgamember ng NDRRMC na agencies (This means all member agencies of NDRRMC) will now support the efforts of the DOH to stop this epidemic, or eliminate this epidemic once and for all,” he said.
Based on the DOH Dengue Surveillance Report, Region 6 (Western Visayas) has the most number of cases at 23,330 followed by Region 4-A (Calabarzon) with 16,515; Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) with 12,317; Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) with 11,455 and Region 12 (Soccsksargen) with 11,083.
Meanwhile, seven out of the 17 regions have exceeded the epidemic threshold of dengue for the past three consecutive weeks.
These regions are Calabarzon with 16,515; Mimaropa with 4,254; Region 5 (Bicol) with 3,470; Western Visayas with 23,330; Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) with 7,199; Zamboanga Peninsula with 12,317; and Northern Mindanao with 11,455 cases.
Other regions exceeded the alert threshold level like Region 1 (Ilocos) with 4,396 cases; Region 7 (Central Visayas) with 10,728; and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with 2,301.
Duque said the total number of cases nationwide for the 29th Morbidity Week alone (July 14 to 20) is at 10,502, or 71 percent higher compared to the same period in 2018.
With National Dengue Epidemic declaration, the DOH, together with other government agencies, local government units (LGUs), schools, offices, and communities will be conducting the ““Sabayang 4-o’clock Habit para Deng-Get Out,” campaign to destroy breeding sites of the disease carrying mosquitoes.