Davao city execs ask public to maintain health protocols despite vaccines
DAVAO CITY –– Despite the start of the vaccination in this city against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), health officials warned the public against complacency as cases surged in the National Capital Region and Central Visayas reportedly due to the variants of SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes the disease.
Dr. Josephine Villafuerte, COVID-19 vaccination program head, reminded everyone on Saturday to continue to wear face masks and shields, frequently wash their hands, practice physical distancing, and stay at home as much as possible because of the surge of cases in other areas of the country.
“It is anticipated that Davao will also experience a surge soon,” said Villafuerte, a retired city health officer here.
“Let us not let our guard down. Encourage everyone to follow safety protocols and even if you already received your vaccine shots, please continue to be vigilant,” Villafuerte said a day after the start of the vaccination of health care workers at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) here.
Earlier, Mayor Sara Duterte has repeatedly warned the public against being complacent in observing health protocols as the SARS-CoV2 virus was still very much around, and its new variants had been reported to be highly transmissible.
“It’s the more reason for people to take extra precaution,” the mayor warned the public in a radio broadcast here.
As of 5 p.m. March 5, Davao City recorded 24 new COVID-19 cases or a cumulative total of 636 active cases.
Since March 2020, the city logged a total of 13,176 cases with 639 deaths and 11,901 recoveries.
In nearby Sarangani province, the first 162 healthcare workers were expected to get their first dose of Sinovac vaccine at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Marcy 7, at the provincial hospital in Alabel, Sarangani, according to immunization program coordinator Maria Razel Bustria.
She said at least four vaccination teams were to administer the jabs.
Dr. Arvin Alejandro, head of Sarangani’s provincial health office, said they received their share of 336 vials of Sinovac vaccines, which arrived in Cotabato City on Friday.
The rest of the vaccines were distributed to the province’s COVID-19 referral hospitals, namely: the Sarangani Provincial Hospital in Alabel town and the Dr. Cornelio Martinez Sr. Memorial Hospital in Kiamba town.
In General Santos City, Mayor Ronnel Rivera and Dr. Rochelle Oco, city health officer, received 3,138 vials at the city’s gymnasium.
Inoculation of the city’s medical front liners in six private and government referral hospitals has been scheduled on Monday, March 8, Rivera said.
Oco said the vaccines would be distributed to six referral hospitals in the city, including the Mindanao Medical Center, Inc. which has 380 employees; Gensan Medical Center, 343 employees; St. Elizabeth Hospital, Inc., 697 employees; General Santos Doctors Hospital Inc., 527; and Socsksargen County Hospital, 521 employees.
The government-run Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital will also get its share of vaccines for its 670 personnel.
Dr. Edvir Jane Montañer, Department of Health (DOH) immunization program manager in Socsksargen, said health workers from 23 COVID-19 referral hospitals would be the first to be inoculated with Sinovac vaccines.
On Friday, March 5, about 18,000 initial doses of CoronaVac, the vaccine from China by pharmaceutical Sinovac Biotech, earmarked for Socsksargen, arrived from Manila via the Awang Airport in Datu Odin Sinsuat.
The vaccines were stored at the cold storage facility of the DOH Socksargen office in Cotabato City and distributed on Saturday to the region’s provinces and cities.
Montañer appealed to the media and the public to give correct information about the Sinovac vaccine, which, she said, would be “one of the remedies to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Today, we declare the ‘near end’ of our fight against the COVID-19 disease,” she said.
“We are fighting it for over a year now for our right to live and exist,” Montañer told reporters Friday after the arrival of the vaccines.
Nearly 9,000 health workers from the 23 COVID-19 referral hospitals in Region 12 are eligible to receive the vaccines, she noted.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.