MANILA, June 21 (Mabuhay) — Several factors have contributed to the spike in COVID-19 cases in the Visayas and Mindanao, including complacency in observing health protocols, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Monday.

Vergeire said the Department of Health (DOH) recorded cluster infections in workplaces and prisons in these areas. She also said the presence of more transmissible variants of the coronavirus could also be a factor behind the surge.

“Let us not just say that it’s just because of the variants. There are a multitude of factors,” Vergeire said at a press briefing.

Active cases in the Visayas and Mindanao stood at 13,313 and 14,426, respectively, as of June 20, DOH records showed.

Experts from the OCTA Research recently identified Davao City, Bacolod, Iloilo City, Cagayan de Oro, Dumaguete, Butuan, Tacloban, Polomolok in South Cotabato, and Tuguegarao as areas of concern due to a continued rise in infections.

Undersecretary Abdullah Dumama Jr. of the DOH Field Implementation and Coordination Team in the Visayas and Mindanao earlier said public and private hospitals have been ordered to increase by 50% their health facilities’ beds dedicated to COVID-19 cases. (MNS)

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