Coronavirus Disease: Why COVID-19 is Spreading Rapidly in Philippines

The Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) is spreading rapidly in the Philippines. Here are the most possible reasons.

According to the Department of Health (DOH), the number of confirmed cases in the country as of noontime Tuesday, March 10, has increased to 35 from 24 a day earlier.

The most possible reasons of the rising and alarming infection rate are:

People are overly complacent. According to some social media posts, the virus cannot survive in a tropical country like the Philippines. Hot weather, reports say, could "kill" the virus. But scientists do not know yet how temperature affects the deadly virus.

Surgical face masks are expensive and scarce. A box of surgical masks costs around P1,000 which is nearly ten times the original price. Many drugstores and pharmacies in the Philippines have run out-of-stock of surgical masks as production declines and demand increases.

Hospitals have inadequate isolation rooms and COVID-19 test kits. Sources said that many hospitals in the Philippines have only 6 to 12 isolation rooms for Patients Under Investigation (PUI) and test kits have reportedly been supplied to hospitals only in key cities. This was not independently verified.

People in or near locked down cities or quarantined areas panic. We have read Facebook posts of medical doctors urging people not to flock to emergency rooms just to get themselves tested, especially those who have regular flu. The possibility is that when there's an individual infected with Coronavirus, it will spread rapidly due to the congestion in the ER, thus the increased number of infections.

And lastly, many Filipinos are poor. Underprivileged families are incapable of buying nutritious food, fruits, and vitamins to boost the immune system. It's even hard for them to eat regular and sufficient meals on a daily basis. Many of them buy food or eat in the carenderia or market eatery full of people. The working sector uses public transport (trains, buses, jeepneys, utility vans) which adds to the risk of acquiring infection.

If you think there are other reasons why COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in the Philippines, please let us know in the comments section.

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