Cebu remains at low risk for COVID-19 – OCTA

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
Cebu remains at low risk for COVID-19 â OCTA
Motorists brave floodwaters along Airport Village in Parañaque City following a sudden downpour in Metro Manila on Tuesday (September 27, 2022).
STAR / Jesse Bustos

CEBU, Philippines — The entire Cebu province, including Cebu City, has remained at low risk for COVID, according to the OCTA Research group.

Data from the Department of Health (DOH) showed the province had an average of 40 new cases per day in the past week, down from an average of more than 200 daily cases when infections peaked on July 31.

While new cases appeared to have plateaued, OCTA noted that the average daily attack rate was low at 0.77 daily new infections per 100,000 people.

The positivity rate in Cebu was at five percent as of Sept. 26, which is within the recommended threshold set by the World Health Organization.

The reproduction rate, which indicates the number of people that a person who tested positive for the virus can infect, is currently at a moderate 0.99.

Health care utilization for COVID cases remained low at 27 percent, with intensive care unit occupancy at 12 percent.

OCTA fellow Ranjit Rye said they are surprised with the data from Cebu as compared to the National Capital Region, where a surge in cases has been reported.

“We hope that the DOH can set triggers or conditions to guide citizens when to wear masks outdoors,” he said.

Rye called on the public, especially in Metro Manila, where the positivity rate remains high, to continue to wear masks outdoors.

Vaccine hesitancy

Meanwhile, in Zamboanga peninsula, health authorities blamed vaccine hesitancy for new COVID cases and deaths.

“We can only say we have eradicated the virus if we are able to ramp our vaccination of the target population,” Dr. Joshua Brillantes, DOH regional office head, said at the relaunch of the “Bayanihan Bakunahan” program.

He cited vaccine hesitancy among members of the A2 group or senior citizens, with only 12 percent having received the primary series and 15 percent with booster shots.

“The virus remains dangerous and can still kill. That is why we have to strengthen and vaccinate our senior citizens and those with comorbidities to ensure that they are protected,” Brillantes said.

Zamboanga peninsula recorded 250 active cases as of Sept. 22.

“We are still reporting some deaths, especially among senior citizens and the unvaccinated with this Omicron variant,” Brillantes said.

The regional health official lauded the Zamboanga City government for encouraging its constituents to get booster shots by conducting house-to-house visits and providing free rice to boost its vaccine drive. – Roel Pareño



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