Pampanga, Bataan, Cebu COVID-19 cases increase

Ric Sapnu - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Pampanga, Bataan and Cebu City have recorded a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Fifty-three cases were recorded in Pampanga on Jan. 2, bringing the active infections to 217.

The Department of Health-Central Luzon office said hospital bed occupancy in the province rose by 7.4 percent, with 71 of 955 beds allotted for COVID patients occupied.

In Bataan, active cases rose to 73 on Monday, the provincial health office reported.

Twenty-one new cases – nine from Balanga City, four from Mariveles, three from Limay, two from Morong and one each from Hermosa, Orani and Pilar – were recorded.

Gov. Albert Garcia reminded his constituents to continue observing minimum health protocols.

From only 11 persons who contracted the virus in Cebu City on Jan. 1, active cases increased to 25, with 13 new infections detected yesterday.

The city recorded single-digit to zero cases in November and December last year.

The city government’s emergency operations center (EOC) said the positivity rate went up to 4.10 percent, which is nearing the World Health Organization threshold of five percent.

The number of barangays with active cases also increased to 14. These are Lahug with four cases, three each from Kasambagan and Mambaling, two each from Guadalupe, Banilad and Talamban and one each from Apas, Capitol Site, Hipodromo, Malubog, Pit-os, Punta Princesa, Talamban, Tejero and Tisa.

EOC deputy chief implementer and Councilor Joel Garganera said there is still no confirmed case of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

Iloilo to require RT-PCR testing

Meanwhile, in Iloilo City, inbound travelers will be required to undergo reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing amid the threat of Omicron.

“I worry that cases may surge in the coming weeks following the holiday season and the influx of travelers. Pending the issuance of an executive order, in a meeting with the city COVID team on Monday, the city is prepared to test those who would voluntarily want to do so,” Mayor Jerry Treñas said.

He advised travelers from Metro Manila, Cebu and Boracay to have themselves tested at the molecular laboratory at the Jubilee Hall or Lapaz Plaza gym.

Treñas said the city government would shoulder the cost of RT-PCR tests.

”We need to protect ourselves and our families. I am asking everyone to get their booster shots three months after their second dose. We need to have additional protection against Omicron,” Treñas said.

The city logged 16 new cases on Monday, an increase of more than 500 percent compared to the previous day’s three infections.

Single-digit cases were recorded in the city in the past two weeks. – Jennifer Rendon, Caecent Magsumbol/The Freeman


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