Zamboanga del Sur reverts to MECQ with rising COVID-19 cases
PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur – Amid the surge of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Zamboanga del Sur, Governor Victor Yu has ordered that the province be placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) effective June 1 to 15, based on the recommendation of the National Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
Yu said the quarantine status may be extended depending on whether the number of cases will fall or will continue to rise.
Dr. Anatalio Cagampang Jr., head of the Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center (ZDSMC) and chief of the Integrated Provincial Health Office, confirmed the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the province which has reached 862 on Friday, May 28. Of the number, more than 300 cases are from Pagadian City.
The local IATF also recorded the 83rd and 84th patients in the province who died of COVID-19 on Friday at the government hospital.
The highest number of COVID-19 cases were recorded on May 22, when 107 cases were recorded in the entire province for one day.
He said he considered the recent surge as alarming since the Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center (ZDSMC) which served as the province’s main referral for moderate and severe cases had already been declared full and could no longer accommodate additional COVID-19 patients.
He said they already doubled the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds from the three beds they had last year.
Cagampang said they are facing a shortage of oxygen as each patient would consume an average of 24 tanks of oxygen per day, which means, they would need 144 tanks per day when only 100 to 120 tanks are delivered to the hospital daily from Cagayan de Oro City.
In cases of such shortage, the patients’ family would either purchase oxygen outside [the hospital] or loan it from other hospitals, he explained.
Cagampang said private hospitals are already declaring full capacity and are now being overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.
“Even Level 1 hospitals who do not accept severe COVID-19 cases have already been forced to accept to assist the ZDSMC. All hospitals and infirmaries in the province are overwhelmed already,” Cagampang explained.
This was the reason health authorities here asked the provincial IATF to step up the province’s quarantine status from MGCQ to GCQ, but the national IATF declared it under the MECQ status.
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