Mindanao continues to battle COVID surge
DAVAO CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines — This leading city in Mindanao continues to battle one of the worst surges of coronavirus cases as it posted one of the highest number of deaths from the disease on Friday.
Of the 38 COVID-19 deaths reported in Davao Region on Friday, 24 were in Davao City, according to the Department of Health (DOH) report. The DOH, however, clarified that 28 of the total deaths were reported late because of the delay in the verification process. On Saturday, the number of deaths in Davao region has gone down to 10, of which only two were in Davao City.
But hospitals continued to fill up, with Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), the region’s main COVID-19 referral facility, running out of both COVID-19 and intensive care unit (ICU) beds. SPMC’s last two remaining COVID-19 beds and its last eight remaining ICU beds on Friday were immediately occupied on Saturday; while its isolation beds, which were all occupied on Friday, finally reported 11 vacant ones on Saturday, according to the DOH bulletin at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Davao region posted 786 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, bringing to 17,728 the total number of active cases in this part of Mindanao. Of the new cases, 376, or about half, were from Davao City, while Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur provinces trailed behind with 156 and 155 new cases, respectively.
Davao City, which posted 8,521 active cases, also topped the number of total active cases in the region, followed by Davao del Sur (3,682) and Davao del Norte (2,485). At least 77 percent of the city’s 42,658 total cases since the beginning of the pandemic already recovered but 1,303 died.
This developed as Davao City officials said that regardless of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) rules, they would not exempt fully vaccinated persons from the 14-day quarantine if they happened to have close contacts with a COVID-19 case.
“After the IATF resolution [exempting fully vaccinated persons] was released, there was a surge [of COVID-19 cases] in Cebu and Manila. That’s why it was deferred [here],” said Dr. Michelle Schlosser, spokesperson of the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force.
In Lanao del Norte province, Iligan City posted 60 new cases on Saturday, bringing to 935 the total number of active cases in the city, the city’s emergency operations center said.
Dr. Belinda Lim, acting city health officer, said 428 COVID-19 patients had been admitted in hospitals and other medical facilities while 507 stayed in isolation facilities.
Major hospitals in Iligan and Marawi cities announced last week they ran out of beds for COVID-19 patients.
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