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COVID-19 cases in Central Visayas reach 366, majority of patients now ‘younger’

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | April 23,2020 - 09:42 PM

An illustration of COVID-19 interacting with cells | CDN FILE PHOTO

An illustration of COVID-19 interacting with cells | CDN FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The majority of the patients who were infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Central Visayas are below 60 years old.

This was the observation of the Department of Health here (DOH – 7) as they logged an additional 20 new cases on Thursday, April 23, 2020, bringing the region’s total to 366.

The profile of the majority of our cases are young (less than 60 years old) as compared during the early part of the epidemic,” DOH – 7 director Dr. Jaime Bernadas said in a press release.

“Most of them are not admitted due to absence of severe symptoms; meaning they are less likely to die due to COVID-19 related complications,” Bernadas added.

These instances, the DOH-7 top official said, should serve as a reminder for the public to obey quarantine measures, and not to take the pandemic lightly.

The presence of infants among the positive cases shows it can infect anyone at any age,” he said.

It can be recalled that in March, when the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) started accepting samples for COVID-19 testing, most of those who tested positive are senior citizens.

But DOH – 7 recorded newborn infants, and twin babies who are 9 months old, to have been infected with the virus.

DOH – 7 also reported no new deaths and recoveries related to the disease which has infected close to 7,000 individuals around the country as of Thursday.

A total of 3,843 COVID-19 tests for samples taken from Central Visayas have been carried out at VSMMC, including the 356 examined for Thursday.

Increasing Numbers & Massive Testing

Meanwhile, Bernadas said the recent spike noted in the number of COVID-19 cases in Central Visayas are expected as health centers here expand their testing capacities.

“This would mean the close contacts are detected earlier before they become symptomatic or sick. Earlier close contact detection also means they can be advised to go on self-quarantine with all the precautionary measures before they infect others,” said Bernadas.

“All these points are telling us that we are diagnosing the infected faster, detecting the transmission earlier and isolating them and treating them better,” he added.

Bernadas also said congestion in communities and closed settings is ‘a major factor’ on COVID-19’s spread in the region, particularly in Cebu City.

With 329, Cebu City is the area with the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases for Central Visayas, accounting for around 89.9 percent of the region’s total count.

The bulk of these figures are recorded in Sitio Zapatera, Barangay Luz (138), an urban poor community with over 9,000 residents, and Cebu City Jail (129).

Cebu City Jail has a population of 6,604 inmates. But as a facility designed only to accommodate less than 550 prisoners, it now has a congestion rate of 1,106 percent. /rcg

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TAGS: COVID-19 in Central Visayas, DOH-7, Dr. Jaime Bernadas, pandemic

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