The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday said it has seen a downtrend in the number of measles cases in the country, but clarified that the outbreak has yet to be lifted.
“Marami tayong mga region na bumaba na ang bilang ng measles cases pero hindi nangangahulugan na tapos na ang outbreak,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB.
“Sinasabi lang natin na bumababa na… although meron ding mga lugar na wala nang reported cases ng measles pero ayaw naman nating sabihin na wala na ‘yung outbreak,” Duque said.
This came after the DOH earlier announced that it has reached its initial target of 3.8 million children ages six months to 59 months to be vaccinated against the deadly virus as of end-March.
Duque noted that the Health department cannot be complacent despite seeing that cases of measles have declined and having reached its immunization target.
“Hindi natin puwedeng itaas ang deklarasyon ng outbreak, para tuloy tuloy ang paghikayat sa mga magulang na ipabakuna ang mga anak,” he said.
On Friday, Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said the DOH will only be able to declare the situation “completely under control” if no new cases are reported for six weeks.
The DOH declared a measles outbreak in Metro Manila and in other regions in Luzon and Visayas last February. By early March, the number of reported measles cases nationwide had reached more than 16,000.
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Measles cases drop, but outbreak yet to be lifted —DOH