COVID-19 quarantine restrictions pull down dengue cases

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 1) — With more families staying in their homes, the country's dengue cases in the first six months of 2021 dropped by 48%, a Department of Health official said Thursday.

In a virtual briefing, Dr. Ailene Espiritu of the DOH Disease Prevention and Control Bureau said dengue infections from January 1 to June 15 of this year dropped to 27,930 compared to the 53,866 cases recorded in the same period in 2020.

Reported deaths in the first six months also fell 43% to 104 from 183 in 2020, she added.

"Ito ay dahil ang mga tao ay mas namamahalagi sa kanilang mga tahanan. Mas napaigting ang water, sanitation, and hygiene (or WASH)," Espiritu said.

[Translation: This is because people spend more time at home so water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) have been observed.]

The Philippines has been under lockdown since March 2020, limiting the movement of people amid the threat of COVID-19. Filipinos are forced to embrace the new normal, where businesses adopt the work-from-home scheme, and the education sector has started implementing distance learning.

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Dr. Espiritu said regions with the highest number of reported dengue cases were Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Ilocos.