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DOH-7 lauds Cebu’s ‘very good’ COVID-19 case control

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - May 4, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu, as a whole, has a “very good case control management” based on available data, Department of Health-7 spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche said yesterday.

“Our cases here in the entire Cebu, it is clearly shown in our data that we have a really good case management,” said Loreche in a press conference with Governor Gwendolyn Garcia yesterday.

Loreche also said regional health authorities here told representatives from the national government in a meeting last week about the region’s “best practices.”

“DOH-7 shared the best practices with the national government, those that helped us manage and control our cases,” she said.

Among these “best practices,” she said, are higher testing capacity, contact tracing, isolation, and surveillance, plus an active Emergency Operations Center.

On testing, Loreche said health authorities already know how to test, who to test, and how to go about the process.

“We know where truly COVID really is,” she said.

Loreche also commended the contact tracers in Cebu for “doing a great job.”

Also, the role of isolation facilities in accommodating patients has been proven and tested, especially during the “second surge,” she added.

“Brief background: What Gov (Garcia) said on the cases of April of last year and of this year, it is actually a mirror of the events that happened to us when we were the epicenter for COVID. And I would remember and you can recall also that we were tagged as the only area where we have the most number of months of being in lockdown,” said Loreche.

She said the period from April up to July 2020 and the period from January up to March 2021 mirror each other as seen in the epidemiologic curve, but this time, she added, Cebu as a whole has already learned its lessons well.

“What is interesting to note is that we learned our lessons from the first wave that we had. So we were able to put in all the necessary control measures, so when we encountered it again in January and February and early part March (this year), we never agreed to be locked down,” Loreche said.

The DOH-7 spokesperson then went on to say that there should be a balance between economy and health.

“We have been in MGCQ from Sept. 2020 up to the time that we are here right now. So we actually reported to the national (government) that this is the way to learn to live with COVID whereby we balance the economy and health needs of our people,” she said.

Loreche further said that surveillance also plays a vital role in the fight against COVID-19.

“What the governor said, that our data here is validated and verified, that is correct. That is why our protocols and processes are hinged on data. We are data-driven in all our programs and policies,” she added.

Loreche also mentioned the active Emergency Operations Center, a help desk (711), and the collaboration between the private sector and the government.

DOH-7 case bulletin on May 2 showed that Cebu City has 857 active cases while Lapu-Lapu has 541, Mandaue has 433, and Cebu province has 889. — JMD (FREEMAN)

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