Cebu sees spike in COVID-19 deaths
CEBU CITY — At least 182 COVID-19 patients died in public and private hospitals in Cebu in the first 29 days of January 2022.
About 75 percent of whom were unvaccinated against the coronavirus, according to Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, chief pathologist of the Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas.
“What is sad here is that the majority of these COVID-19 deaths were still unvaccinated,” she said.
Of the 110 fatalities in public hospitals, 91 were unvaccinated, 17 were fully vaccinated, and two were partially vaccinated against COVID-19.
On the other hand, there were 72 other deaths in private hospitals, including 45 unvaccinated individuals, 26 fully vaccinated, and one partially vaccinated.
While the number of COVID-19 fatalities in Cebu from January 1 to 29, 2022 had increased, Loreche said these were way lower than the surge caused by the COVID-19’s Delta variant in August 2021.
During that time, at least 426 COVID-19 patients died in private hospitals alone. Of the number of patients, 353 or 83 percent were unvaccinated.
Loreche, however, said that the number of COVID-19 fatalities included people who were admitted because of other reasons such as stroke, heart attack, or the need for surgery.
“The protocol of the hospitals is on the triaging area so you need to be tested for COVID-19. There were times when it’s an incidental finding or you learned you had COVID-19 only because you were admitted in the hospital,” she explained.
Loreche urged the public not to underestimate the Omicron variant which was more transmissible than the Delta variant.
“I call on the people to follow the health protocols and to not be complacent. I hope the public will have themselves vaccinated against COVID-19 since the situation is dangerous for the vulnerable population,” she explained.
Loreche said there is already a community transmission of the Omicron variant in Cebu and the rest of Central Visayas as five out of the 22 cases confirmed by the Philippine Genome Center are from community samples.
“Even before the variant was detected, the increasing number of people who got infected showed that the Omicron was already here,” she said.
As of January 31, Cebu, which includes the highly-urbanized cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu, has 15,002 active cases of COVID-19, according to the Department of Health.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases placed Cebu and the rest of Central Visayas under Alert Level 3 from Feb. 1 to 15 to slow down the spread of the virus.
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