DOH: Too early to tell if Cebu province is PH’s new COVID-19 epicenter
MANILA, Philippines—It’s too early to tell if Cebu province is the new epicenter of COVID-19 in the country after a spike in coronavirus infections there, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday (May 8).
DOH data showed that the province of Cebu reported 200 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day, May 7, which brought the total number of cases in the province to 1,288.
The surge in cases in a single day in Cebu surpassed the record of Metro Manila, where majority of COVID-19 cases are concentrated, with 111 new cases in one day.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that a “big chunk” of cases in Cebu came from enclosed facilities, like jails, which she called “clusters.”
But she said there was not much transmission of SARS Cov2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, in Cebu communities outside the clusters.
“I don’t think we can say that as of now,” said Vergeire in reply to questions whether Cebu province is now the new COVID-19 epicenter in the Philippines.
“We can’t say that now because it is only for a few days that we see increases in cases,” she said at an online press conference, speaking in Filipino.
“Second, we see that the increase comes from closed institutions. Mainly, the increase of cases in Cebu was because of different jails which had outbreaks,” she said in Filipino.
The testing capacity of Cebu province has also increased “tremendously,” the DOH official said, from 90 tests per day to an average of 550 to 600 tests per day.
The current positivity rate of the province is about 15 to 16 percent, Vergeire said.
To date, the Philippines has 10,343 confirmed COVID-19 cases of which 1,618 patients have recovered while 685 others have died.
Edited by TSB
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