DOH: COVID-19 deaths in Cebu ‘rising fast’
CEBU CITY, Philippines—In a span of 22 days, at least 105 people had died of COVID-19 in public and private hospitals in Cebu, with most of the fatalities yet to get vaccinated, the Department of Health (DOH) said.
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, chief pathologist of the DOH in Central Visayas region, said the number of COVID-19 deaths had been rising fast based on their monitoring.
At least 66 deaths were recorded in eight hospitals run by the DOH while 39 were reported by private hospitals in the province this month.
Loreche said 83, or majority of 105 fatalities, were unvaccinated.
“We cannot joke that there were only a few deaths because one death is one life wasted,” said Loreche during a briefing at the Visayas Vaccination Operations Center on Monday.In the DOH-run hospitals, 56 (85 percent) fatalities were unvaccinated, eight were fully vaccinated and two were partially vaccinated against COVID-19.
Of the 39 fatalities in private hospitals, 27 (69 percent) were unvaccinated while 12 were fully vaccinated.
Loreche said the reported deaths were based on the details provided by the patients upon admission.
“Those who died at home are not included here yet. So we cannot downplay these numbers,” she said.
Loreche urged the public not to underestimate the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which is more transmissible than the previously dominant Delta variant.
“I call on the people not to be complacent. I hope the public will have themselves vaccinated against COVID-19 since the situation is dangerous for the vulnerable population,” she said.
Last week, Loreche announced the presence of at least 22 cases of the Omicron variant in Cebu and other parts of Central Visayas.
“Even before the variant was detected, the increasing number of people who got infected showed that the Omicron was already in Cebu (and the other parts of the region),” she said.
Loreche said they were not discounting the possibility that a local transmission of Omicron was happening in the region.
“Local transmission means that the presence of a variant of concern is not linked to an outside exposure (overseas Filipino workers, international traveler, returning overseas Filipino) and that the sample submitted is from the community. It is not a far possibility that it is locally present considering the rapid increase in cases,” she said.
Symptoms of the variant include fever, dry cough, sore throat, body pain, sneezing, runny nose, fatigue and sweating at night. INQ
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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.
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