OCTA: Ilocos Norte at ‘critical risk’ for COVID-19 attack rate | Inquirer News
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OCTA: Ilocos Norte at ‘critical risk’ for COVID-19 attack rate

LAOAG CITY — Independent research group OCTA on Sunday said that Ilocos Norte province is under “critical risk” in terms of its average daily attack rate (Adar) for COVID-19.

OCTA reported that Ilocos Norte’s Adar is the highest among all the 20 provinces in the country, including the National Capital Region, at 35.34 per 100,000 population. The figure is three times higher than the national average. An Adar is considered high risk if it reaches a rate of seven and above.

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The one-week growth rate in Ilocos Norte, however, has slowed by 24 percent, from 287 average number of new daily cases on Aug. 1 to 7, to 218 from Aug. 8 to 14, OCTA said.

As of Aug. 13, COVID-19 bed occupancy in the province was at “moderate risk” at 67 percent while the ICU utilization rate was at “low risk” at 52 percent, according to the research group.

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On Saturday, Ilocos Norte added 258 new cases in its COVID-19 tally, raising the number of active infections to 4,312. The province has now a total of 11,933 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, with 7,465 recoveries and 156 deaths.

Health workers needed

Meanwhile, health workers in Ilocos Norte’s biggest public hospital infected with COVID-19 climbed to 171 on Saturday, Aug. 14, according to health officials.

In a public advisory, the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital (MMMH), the province’s major COVID-9 treatment center, said that all of the infected health workers are currently completing their isolation.

The Department of Health in the Ilocos region will be deploying at least 10 nurses to MMMH to augment its manpower, according to the provincial government.

MMMH is also looking to hire more nurses and doctors, particularly for its ob-gyn and pediatrics departments. Some of the doctors infected with COVID-19 from the hospital were from the two departments due to the rising incidents of COVID-19-infected pregnant women who gave birth at the hospital.

“There are so many deliveries now, and so many COVID-19 [positive] pregnant women giving birth, or suspect[ed] cases, [and] they have not been diagnosed or documented as infected [before their deliveries],” according to Dr. Maria Lourdes Otayza, MMMH chief.

Latest data from MMMH showed that at least 20 pregnant women admitted in the hospital have tested positive of COVID-19, while two others are classified as suspect and probable cases.

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Prior to admission to the hospital for delivery, these women who are on their 34th or 37th week of pregnancy are advised to undergo a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), according to MMMH protocols.

In an advisory on Friday, Aug. 13, MMMH also announced that the Department of Education had agreed to a proposal to convert at least five classrooms at Catalino Acosta Memorial Elementary School (CAMES) in Batac City where a temporary field hospital will be set-up.

The temporary facility at the public school will have an additional 40 beds where some stable patients who are admitted at the hospital will be transferred for treatment.

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TAGS: average daily attack rate (ADAR), COVID-19, critical risk, Ilocos Norte, OCTA, Regions
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