DOH-7 notes ‘slight increase’ in firecracker injuries amid pandemic
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that resulted in the implementation of wide-scale quarantine restrictions, the regional health office in Central Visayas recorded a slight increase in the number of firecracker-related injuries.
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of the Department of Health in the region (DOH-7), told CDN Digital in a text message that, as of Saturday, December 26, they recorded a total of six cases of injuries due to the use of firecrackers and ammunition used for merriment for the Holidays.
Fortunately, these instances did not result in any deaths, and there were also no reports of victims hit by stray bullets.
Three out of the six reported cases are from Lapu-Lapu City while one each from Cebu City, and the provinces of Bohol and Negros Oriental. There were none for Siquijor province as of December 26, DOH-7 said.
Based on the report made by DOH-7 and the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) as of 12 p.m. on Saturday, they noted a ’slight increase’ in this year’s number of firecracker-related injuries compared to the same period in 2019.
“There were six cases of fireworks-related injuries reported by the different Disease Reporting Units (DRU) from 12:00 p.m. of December 16, 2020 to 11:59 a.m. of December 26, 2020. This is (25 percent or two cases) higher compared to 2019 with four cases,” portions of the report stated.
Three of the six individuals sustained wounds after lighting prohibited firecrackers such as rebentador, bongalo, and piccolo. Two others were due to the use of kwitis and triangle.
Health authorities reported that a 15-year-old boy from Barangay Tisa in Cebu City sustained a left-eye injury after using rebentador on Christmas Eve, December 24.
After being treated in Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC), he was discharged on the same day ‘in good condition’, they said.
Another patient from Lapu-Lapu City, a 36-year-old man from Barangay Marigondon, was also sent to the infirmary after a bullet fired off from his gun while he kept slamming it. He is currently admitted in VSMMC when the bullet hit his right hand, and fractured his right index finger.
The patient was reportedly drunk when the incident occurred, and tried to take the bullet out from his gun so ‘he can use it as a firework’.
The consolidated report also showed that most of the firecracker-related incidents happened along the streets.
“Four cases reported occurred in the streets, one from their home, and another from (an undisclosed location),” it said.
In the meantime, Loreche urged the public to avoid the use of firecrackers when celebrating the new year.
“We continue to remind our people to celebrate the new year without the use of firecrackers; thereby, eliminating any form of injury relative to its use,” said Loreche.
All areas belonging to Central Visayas have been placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) since September. / ###
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