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QC govt devises early warning system to detect possible COVID-19 surge

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The Quezon City government has come up with an early warning system to detect the signals of a possible COVID-19 surge so that it could take immediate action to prevent cases from increasing.

The warning system was designed by the Quezon City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit and involves the systematic monitoring of new cases, analysis of trends, and recommendations of strategic measures to prevent another outbreak

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said the local government is focusing on preventive measures.

“As our doctors would say ‘prevention is better than cure’. At this point, there’s too much at stake to let all our efforts go to waste. We cannot afford to go back to zero,” Belmonte said.

QCESU Chief Rolly Cruz said the early warning system uses colors to classify the status of infection in the city.

It also uses four indicators, particularly the growth rate between the current week and the previous week; the 7-day average daily attack rate; the daily positivity rate with 7-day moving average; and the reproduction number.

White status means COVID-19 cases are below average and all data indicators are considered stable, and no surge of cases is expected in the next 14 days.

Yellow status is raised when cases are increasing compared to the previous week, and when three of four indicators have increased from normal to above normal. This means there could be a surge within the next 14 days.

Red status is raised when cases continue to rise and all other indicators remain high or have breached the indicated threshold. This indicates the start of a surge.

The raising of yellow or red status means communities should on high alert and should adhere strictly to minimum public health protocols.

Cruz said Quezon City is at white status and more than 900 beds are on stand-by in its quarantine facilities.