DOH sees holiday gatherings behind spike in COVID-19 cases in Eastern Visayas
TACLOBAN CITY—The Department of Health (DOH) attributed a surge in COVID-19 cases in Eastern Visayas to gatherings and other events that drew crowds during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Dr. Marc Steven Capungcol, head of the regional DOH epidemiology and surveillance unit, said many people went to malls during the holiday season and could have contracted SARS Cov2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
It was during this period that the region posted double-digit numbers of COVID-19 cases.
On Dec. 23 and 24, for instance, the region logged its highest single-day cases with 244 on Dec. 23 and 258 on Dec. 24.
“The increasing number of cases partly was due to the holiday season. Our cases right now involved families,” he said.
The DOH in the region appealed to all local government units to expand their quarantine facilities to accommodate more COVID-19 patients and to prepare their hospitals for more.
Dr. Exuperia Sabalberino, DOH regional officer-in-charge, said the positivity rate, or the rate in which one case was likely to lead to more cases, in Eastern Visayas was among the highest in the country.
“The implication of having a high positivity rate means that we will have a high utilization of our hospitals which is dangerous because the capacity of our hospitals here in the region is very limited unlike in Metro Manila,” she said.
“It would mean that we might not have any available hospitals for our future COVID-19 cases in the coming days and which would result in an increase on the number of deaths,” she added.
The region currently has 12,300 COVID-19 cases.
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