June 17 photo of cases in the Davao region (PIA)
As the June 15 announcement marked a threshold in the way the Philippine government is managing the pandemic. It has provided a very nuanced approach, prescribing clearer guidelines for areas that need tighter restritions and limits like Cebu, and easing them on others like areas outside Davao and Zamboanga cities. This prescribes a way forward for managing this continuously raging pandemic that has forced New Zealand to call in their military and Australia to renew restrictions as China and South Korea reimpose theirs.
While we have yet to announce a vaccine and health care capacities are being upgraded and the clamor for certain minimum restrictions remains strong. The new normal will see localized quarantine as we can see in some areas, while the rest who are less affected will see eased restrictions.
Looking at our own statistics, Observers note that of all the island regions, Mindanao has been hit the least by the pandemic, with about 500 of all the total active Philippine official cases as of June 20, most of which in Davao and Zamboanga City. What is worth noting is that the recovery rate from the disease is higher than the national average. Check out the DOH COVID tracker for details. This, as testing capacities on the island have increased.
What this means for us is that we will need to take a closer look at our statistics, and a second look at areas outside Metro Manila for possible migration and expansion of economic and social activities.