Health situation in Cebu City, Western Visayas improve as COVID cases drop | Inquirer News
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Health situation in Cebu City, Western Visayas improve as COVID cases drop

Cebu City COVID

(FILE) MORE JABBERS The Cebu City government continues its vaccination rollout in a hotel on Sept. 20 with more residents getting their jabs as COVID-19 cases in the city drop. —NESTLE SEMILLA

CEBU CITY — Cases of COVID-19 in this city and Western Visayas region have gone down amid the rollout of vaccines as well as the observance of health protocols, officials said.

From two digits in the past weeks, the number of daily COVID-19 cases in Cebu City dropped to just seven on Monday.

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According to the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the figure was the lowest since the third wave of infections began around May.

In the past 10 days, Cebu City recorded 344 active cases of COVID-19 while 27 of its 80 barangays had no reported infection in the same period.

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Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the EOC, credited the development to the hard work of all front-liners and the cooperation of residents.

“This is a very good sign. But we should not be complacent because complacency is our No. 1 enemy. We should instead be careful and mindful that the virus victimized us three times already,” he said.

Since the number of infected individuals went down, Cebu City’s critical care utilization rate also dropped as there were only 195 patients left in 15 private and public hospitals in the city.

Steady decline

The EOC’s data showed that Cebu City recorded 823 active cases of COVID-19. Since the pandemic started in March last year, the city logged 40,899 total cases with 38,631 recoveries and 1,445 deaths.

In Western Visayas, COVID-19 cases are also declining steadily.

The Department of Health (DOH) regional office reported that as of Oct. 17, the average number of daily cases dropped to 542 cases this month from 854 in September, 577 in August, 616 in July and 629 in June.

The total COVID-19 cases in the region reached 139,098 with 3,272 deaths.

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At an online briefing, Dr. Bea Camille Fillardo Natalaray, spokesperson for DOH Western Visayas, said the region’s COVID-19 positivity rate was 11.6 percent, lower than the national rate of 13.67 percent.

A drop in the number of cases for the past two weeks was reported in the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental; and in the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod.

The region is categorized as “low risk” for COVID-19 and only Iloilo and Bacolod cities are classified under “moderate risk.”

Health-care utilization rate

The region’s health-care utilization rate, or the usage of COVID-19 hospital beds and medical equipment, is low except for Negros Occidental and Bacolod City.

Among the provinces that recorded a significant drop in cases was Aklan province which recorded a record-high number of cases from July to August, causing a prolonged lockdown and suspension of non-COVID admissions in the provincial hospital.

Dr. Cornelio Cuachon Jr., Aklan provincial health officer, said that on Oct. 18, only one case was recorded in the province, which has a population of more than 600,000.

Cuachon said during the last week of July and first week of August, the number of daily cases reached more than 250 with three to four deaths.

Only two COVID-19 patients remained at Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital as of Oct. 18.

Natalaray said the aggressive rollout of vaccines and strict enforcement of public health standards were among the reasons for the decline in the number and severity of cases.

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