The City Government of Davao, through the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force (TF), is intensifying its campaign to get people inoculated against COVID-19.

This, following Wednesday’s issuance of Executive Order No. 43, allowing the voluntary wearing of face masks in open spaces.

Despite the loose face mask protocol, the city’s health sector remains on guard, maintains its rigorous campaign on minimum public health practices and continues to conduct free testing on suspected cases and close contacts.

The Davao City COVID-19 TF has also ramped up its drive to vaccinate citizens.

COVID-19 TF Spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser, during the COVID-19 Alert program aired over the Davao City Disaster Radio on Wednesday, said that given the accessibility of the vaccine, Davao City’s active COVID cases should be much lower, while fatalities due to the virus should be closer to zero.

This, Schlosser said, is not the case as many still refused to get jabbed.

Just last week (September 11 to 17), the city reported 436 new cases, which is slightly lower than the 516 new cases (equal to 15 percent positivity rate) reported the week prior (September 4 to 10).

“Lately po nagababa siya to an average of 10 percent na lang na positivity rate on a daily basis. However, dili ni siya pasabot na wala na ta’y kalaban, na okay lang, na dili na ta magbantay because naa gihapon ubay-ubay nga namatay tungod sa COVID-19 (Lately, the positivity rate fell to 10 percent on a daily basis. However, this does not mean that we no longer have an enemy, that it is okay, that we do not have to be on alert anymore because there are still a number of deaths due to COVID),” Schlosser said.

A total of 16 deaths due to the virus was reported last week; 7 were senior citizens while 4 belonged to the 50-59 age bracket.

Two child deaths were also reported– one below the age of five, the other below 12.

Of the 16 fatalities, 9 were unvaccinated.

Schlosser said getting vaccinated gives people the best chance at combatting the virus once infected, and is therefore indispensable in preventing COVID deaths.

The task force’s vaccination cluster will continue to deploy teams to vaccination hubs in district and barangay health centers and to mobile vaccination sites, Schlosser said, urging anew all Dabawenyos to make the time to avail themselves of the free shots.

“Naa tay Saturday and Sunday na vaccination, so I hope dili na siya rason sa atong katawhan na dili makapabakuna because naay trabaho (We have Saturday and Sunday vaccination, so I hope citizens will no longer use work as an excuse not to get inoculated),” Schlosser said.

Weekend vaccinations at the Davao City People’s Park, in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross, will remain open on all weekends of September and will cater to clients aged 5 and older. It is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. CIO