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Department of Health declares national dengue epidemic after cases reach over 146, 000

Department of Health declares national dengue epidemic after cases reach over 146, 000

Dengue carrying mosquito (Photo: Creative Commons)

MAYNILA - The Department of Health (DOH) announced a national dengue epidemic Tuesday amid increasing numbers of cases in some areas of the country.

According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, the declaration is important for the rapid response to the epidemic.

“It is important that a national epidemic be declared in these areas to identify where a localized response is needed, and to enable the local government units to use their Quick Response Fund to address the epidemic situation,”  Duque said in a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

The declaration was made after a meeting of government officials with Duque and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

Lorenzana also appointed all agencies under the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to take action against the DOH's measures against dengue.

"All members of the NDRRMC agencies will now support the efforts of the DOH to stop this epidemic, eliminate this epidemic," Lorenzana said.

Lorenzana also explained that it had not declared a "national emergency" or "state of calamity" because only a few areas were affected by the disease.

"There are areas that are bigger, bigger ones, smaller ones. It's up to the provinces [and] towns to declare their own state of calamity," he said.

There are 146,062 dengue cases reported by the DOH from January to July 20 this year, 71% higher compared to the same period in 2018.

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