The surge in Covid-19 cases could be due to relaxed health and mobility protocols, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Monday.

Duque claimed the relaxed protocols amid the holiday season—which ended two months ago—increased public complacency and increased mobility.

“Iyong increased mobility po ng mga tao nagdulot din ng increased transmission, increased contact rate kaya po nakikita niyo exponential, tumaas po ang bilang ng mga kaso,” he said in a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte.

“At saka din po, umiikot po ako halos araw-araw, pumupunta ako sa mga palengke, doon ko talaga po nakikita na parang hindi na nasunod, ‘yong naka-ganoon po, Mr. President, tapos ang face shield… parang token lang ang compliance e,” he added.

The country recorded 8,019 new Covid-19 cases on March 22 alone. It has logged 671,792 cases to date, of which 80,970 are active.

Duque said the public must remain compliant with health protocols because the country’s supply of vaccines was not enough to eradicate the threat of Covid-19.

“Hindi sapat ang bakuna. Kulang pa ho tayo. Wala pa pong isang porsyento ang dumating na bakuna. At habang wala pa po tayong sapat na bakuna, hindi po natin puwedeng isantabi itong mga ito, ‘yan po ang pakiusap namin sa atin pong mga kababayan.”

“Hangga’t sa maaari po ang face mask and face shield and physical distancing e halos lagpas 95 percent po ang proteksyon nito.” John Ezekiel J. Hirro