DOH-7 sends 30 more nurses to the Capital

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - April 16, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Thirty more healthcare workers from Cebu are set to fly today to the National Capital Region to augment frontliners in the capital, which is battling a surge in coronavirus infections.

Hospitals in Metro Manila recently declared full capacity as COVID-19 cases continued to rise, prompting calls for the government to send help.

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of the Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas, said the 30 are all nurses from the DOH-7 nurse deployment program, the temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTFMs), and other facilities in the province.

She said 20 of them will be sent to the National Center for Mental Health in Mandaluyong City, while the rest will be deployed to Las Piñas General Hospital and Trauma Center.

Loreche assured that Cebu’s healthcare system will not be affected as “our critical care utilization rate is very low owing to the continued reduction of our COVID-19 cases.”


Meanwhile, Loreche said one out of 89,565 healthcare workers inoculated with Sinovac vaccines (for first and second doses as of April 14, 2021) suffered from serious adverse effects.

She said the death of a utility worker of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City cannot be directly attributed to the coronavirus vaccine.

The janitress allegedly died days after receiving her second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Loreche said the victim was asthmatic and had a heart problem.

“We definitely cannot say that the vaccine triggered it unless her body will be subjected to an autopsy,” she said.

She said the autopsy will determine the cause of her death. However, the victim’s parents refused to have her body undergo an autopsy.

Loreche also urged those vaccinated to report if they experience any adverse events/reaction within 28 days after inoculation for proper healthcare intervention.


The health department has already started the vaccination rollout for senior citizens. They belong to Group A2 of the government’s COVID-19 prioritization framework.

DOH-7 initially identified 567,229 seniors in the region who can be vaccinated for free (not the total number of seniors already inoculated as published in this paper Thursday).

Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, for his part, wants everyone in the Visayas to get vaccinated before the year ends.

Dino said he will lobby for more vaccines.

The Visayas has three administrative regions—Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas and Western Visayas.

He called on the regional offices of the Department of Health in Regions VI, VII and VIII to submit to OPAV the number of vaccines needed weekly.

However, Dino said local government units have to ensure that they will be able to implement an orderly and efficient vaccination program which can be achieved by using the Visayas COVID-19 Vaccination Operations Center (VVOC) manual.

COVID cases

In a separate development, for the first time in 14 days, Cebu City has logged triple digit anew after having 112 new cases on April 14.

Loreche, however, said she is giving it another week to see if such a trend continues before concluding that it is a post-Holy Week spike or surge.

In DOH-7’s data, Cebu City’s cases have increased to 1,038. But the cases are expected to reduce once new recoveries are validated.

Based on the records of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), however, the city has 735 active cases.

After enjoying a lower positivity rate the past few days, EOC also noted a higher positivity rate on April 14 at 8.73 percent or 108 positive out of the 1,237 tested.

Cebu City also reported 16 deaths for this month. — Caecent No-ot Magsumbol, KQD (FREEMAN)

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with