Amid the rise in number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in recent days, the Quezon City government renewed its call to residents to follow health protocols to help prevent the virus from spreading.

“Keep in mind that we are all responsible for our health and the health of others around us, particularly our family, friends and loved ones,” said Belmonte.

“So we must act responsibly by obeying all health protocols so we can have a safe and happy Christmas celebration despite the pandemic,” she added.

Belmonte noted the spike in the average number of daily cases, based on the latest report from OCTA Research dated Dec. 22, 2020.

From an average of around 90 cases per day from Dec. 9 to 15, the number rose to more than 120 cases per day from Dec. 16 to 21, based on case reports from the Department of Health (DOH).

Dr. Rolly Cruz, head of the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU), noted the increase in the city’s Ro, which indicates how contagious the infectious disease, to 1.54 on Dec. 20 from 1.50 three days earlier. The city started the month with Ro of 0.92.

From an average of just 0.79 in November, the city’s average Ro this month is 1.13, far from the ideal number of 0.50 set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

When it comes to positivity rate, Dr. Cruz said the city currently had an average of 8 percent from Dec. 14-20, up from the 6 percent that was recorded from Dec. 7-13.

Before this, the city achieved a positivity rate of 5 percent in three straight weeks from Nov. 16 to Dec. 6. The WHO recommends a positivity rate of below 5 percent.

Meanwhile, the city conducted an average of 2,197 tests per day from Dec. 14-20, higher than the average of 2,102 the previous week.

Joseph Juico, head of QC Task Force on COVID-19, said the city government has boosted its contact tracing capability to 1:24, meaning it could quickly trace more people who had close interaction with possible or confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Juico stressed the city government is prepared for a spike in cases, but citizens should do their share by taking the necessary safety precautions, especially during the holidays.

It should be noted that the city’a first Special Concern Area Lockdown occurred after the index case, an employee working in Pasay, contaminated 19 others in a social gathering in Barangay Tandang Sora.