Expert sees uptick in COVID-19 cases in Central Visayas due to holidays

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - April 7, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — An official of the Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas is expecting a post-holiday uptick in COVID-19 cases.

DOH-7 spokesperson and chief pathologist Dr. Mary Jean Loreche said coronavirus cases are seen to increase in the next 14 days owing to the movements during the Holy Week.

She said a lot of people were swabbed after the holiday compared to last week.

Cluster clinics and laboratories were closed on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, while DOH-operated Cebu TB Reference Laboratory for COVID-19 Testing Facility (CTRL) worked on two shifts because of the swab samples from arriving Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

But at present, Loreche said the number of new cases has leveled off as only a few individuals tested positive for the virus during the Holy Week.

“Gamay atong kaso kay gamay raman pud atong gi-test,” she said.

She, however, said the downward trend in COVID-19 cases in Central Visayas should not be a reason to be complacent and the public must still adhere to minimum health standards.

She said swab test results from Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday would give a “better picture” of the region’s status.

“Let’s just wait for a few more days. We will see on Thursday or Friday of this week if indeed the region’s cases have leveled off or starting to plateau,” she said.

Central Visayas on April 5 recorded 103 additional cases—33 from Cebu City, six from Lapu-Lapu City, 21 from Mandaue City, 32 from Cebu, three from Bohol, eight from Siquijor.

The region has 4,489 active cases, majority of which are coming from Cebu City with 1, 272 cases.

However, data from Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) only showed 1,037 active cases.

The discrepancy in the data was attributed to the unverified recoveries.

The additional recoveries are reportedly yet to be validated by DOH-7 and formally incorporated into the statistics.

Loreche has acknowledged EOC’s role in contact tracing, extracting data and isolating cases. The efforts, she said, are vital in leveling off cases in the region.

City Councilor and EOC chief implementer Joel Garganera though clarified that the 1:9 ratio reported earlier meant one case with an average of nine close contacts each and not one index case infecting nine others.

“The 1:9 ratio means that for every positive individual we were able to contact traced nine close contacts and not infected nine others,” he said.

On other hand, Garganera also clarified that EOC has no objection on the resumption of cockpit operations, whether or not online, contrary to earlier reports.

“We in EOC never endorsed cockfighting to resume operation much more passed a resolution,” he said.

Even with online and live-streaming of cockfighting events, Garganera said, the mechanics have not been presented to them yet.

This came after the Inter Agency Task Force revised its omnibus guidelines disallowing cockfighting activities in areas under modified general community quarantine, except e-sabong which is licensed and regulated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. — KQD (FREEMAN)

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