DOH deploys more health workers to Cebu City
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - July 3, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines  — More health workers will be deployed to Cebu City, which remains under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) amid increasing coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 cases.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said infectious disease consultants from the Philippine Society of Medical Specialists would be sent to the city to assist in the management of cases, noting that the deployment of doctors under the Doctors to the Barrio program is voluntary.

Several nurses and military doctors had been earlier dispatched to hospitals in Cebu City.

Vergerie said the government has been sending health workers to various hospitals in the city to build up their health system capacity.

Data shows that case doubling time in Cebu City as of Tuesday was at 7.62 days.  This means that it took seven days for the number of cases to double.

Vergeire said critical care utilization rate in the city was placed at 62.45 percent, which is slightly lower than the 70 percent average. It pertains to utilization rate of beds in intensive care units, which was pegged at 55.83 percent.

At least 62.45 percent of isolation beds were occupied and 41.90 percent of mechanical ventilators were used.

“We have to enforce the ECQ to allow the health system there to prepare if and where cases will continue to increase,” Vergeire said.

Secretary Carlito Galvez, National Task Force against COVID-19 chief  implementer, and NTF vice chairman Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said they expect ”remarkable changes” in Cebu City and Cebu province on July 15.

Año and Galvez returned to Manila yesterday after an assessment of the situation on the ground.

The two officials inspected health centers, hospitals and the Cebu International Airport. They also had dialogues with local government officials and representatives of the private sector and civil society organizations.

Año said the province seems to be  going in the right direction in the fight against COVID-19.

”Hopefully by July 15, Cebu City will graduate from ECQ,” he said. Christina Mendez

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