AN early warning system (EWS) will now be used in Quezon City to detect and analyze “signals” of a possible surge of COVID-19 infections.
Mayor Joy Belmonte said that the QC Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (QCESU) designed the warning system.
Belmonte disclosed that the device could “systematically monitor” new cases, analyze trends, and recommend strategies to prevent another life-endangering outbreak.
“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,” said Belmonte, noting that the city government continues to employ preventive measures to keep any possible “surge” at bay.
According to QCESU Chief Dr. Rolly Cruz, the warning system uses three colors – white, yellow, and red – to classify the status of infections in the city.
It includes four indicators: the Growth Rate (GR) between the current week and the previous week; the 7-day average Daily Attack Rate (ADAR); the daily positivity rate with a 7-day moving average; and the Reproduction Number.
Under the system, the white status is raised when COVID-19 cases are below average, and all data indicators are considered stable. No surge of cases is expected in the next 14 days.
The yellow status is raised when cases are seen increasing compared to the previous week and when three of four indicators have grown from normal to above normal –under this condition, there is a possibility of a surge within the next 14 days.
A 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.
When QCESU raises Yellow or Red status, communities are expected to be on “high alert” and follow strict minimum public health protocols.
Cruz said as of date, the city is under white status and has more than 900 beds on standby in its three remaining HOPE facilities.