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Garcia questions validity, basis of warning of ‘surge’ in Cebu province’s COVID-19 cases

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo - CDN Digital | September 14,2020 - 04:12 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines— Governor Gwendolyn Garcia objected to the validity and basis of warnings aired by medical professionals regarding a possible “surge” in the coronavirus disease cases in the province.

Garcia, in a press conference at the Capitol on Monday, September 14, 2020,  maintained that despite having the highest number of active cases in Central Visayas, the province’s figures are going down and lower compared to other areas if data are analyzed alongside the total population.

As of the September 13 data of the Department of Health in Central Visayas, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the province is now at 583 out of over 5,000 total confirmed cases logged since the onset of the outbreak last March.

The province’s total number of recoveries, according to the DOH-7 data, is at 4,143 with COVID-19 related deaths at 327.

Garcia made the statement following a report quoting the spokesperson of the Cebu Medical Society, who warned of a possible surge in cases in the province should residents “remain complacent.”

Garcia said the doctor’s pronouncements were motherhood statements and an insult to the efforts of the local chief executives in the towns and the province’s residents’ compliance with health protocols.

Not overwhelmed

Out of the 44 towns and six component cities in the province, Garcia reported on Monday that eight localities no longer have any active cases of the coronavirus disease.

The governor added that the facilities in the province remain to be free from being overwhelmed as only 20 percent of the over 300 COVID-19/SARI-dedicated beds in the four provincial hospitals are occupied.

The Capitol’s data on the distribution of its active cases also show that less than 20 percent of these patients are hospitalized and the remaining about 80 percent are either under home or facility isolation.

For those who are in isolation, over 50 percent are asymptomatic, while the rest are having mild symptoms.

Garcia also reported that the current total occupancy rate of the isolation centers in the towns and cities is only at 19 percent.

Look after Cebu City

The governor called on the medical experts to focus their attention on Cebu City instead of the province, as she reiterated that the province’s infections were transmitted from the city, which has the highest number of total cases at 9,742 as of September 13.

Garcia also revealed that the COVID-19 cases in Cebu City stemmed from the management of arriving international passengers before the ports closed last March.

Garcia said she learned from friends, who are among the passengers, that they were just “lectured and told to do a self-quarantine” when they arrived compared to the measures taken by the province where all arriving passengers were subjected to facility quarantine unless their homes will pass the standards for home quarantine during the physical inspection conducted by the local government units. /bmjo

Read: Being too complacent under MGCQ could lead to spike in COVID-19 cases, Cebu City EOC warns

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