DOH-7: Rise in COVID-19 cases in Cebu City expected but alarming

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | January 09,2021 - 03:45 PM

A medical worker, wearing a protective suit and a face mask, administers a nasal swab to a patient at a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing center in Reze near Nantes, France, December 15, 2020. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) has expressed concern over the rising cases of COVID-19 in Cebu City following the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Doctor Mary Jean Loreche of the DOH-7 said that the rise was expected because of the Misa de Gallo, the parties and private gatherings during Christmas, and the New Year.

This has contributed to the 240 new total cases recorded from December 29, 2020, to January 8, 2021.

Although it is expected, it is still concerning especially since at least 33 of the cases are health care workers who have proven positive for the virus.

She emphasized that most of the health care workers only come from one hospital and does not reflect the health care system in general of Cebu City.

“What happened in one hospital does not reflect what is happening in all hospitals in the city,” said Loreche.

The DOH-7 expects that two weeks after the Fiesta Señor, another rise of cases will be experienced by Cebu City brought by the crowding at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.

However, this can be prevented if the local government unit (LGU) works on intensifying the implementation of the social distancing and movement control of the public during the Masses.

Since the Basilica averages at least 1,000 devotees per mass every day, the LGU must ensure that the crowd are controlled not only inside the vicinity but upon entry and exit to the Basilica.

“Ang publiko sad dapat magbantay sila. If we continue to wear our masks and face shields, we are protected 40 percent so kung mabreak ang social distancing at least naay protection,” said Loreche.

She urged the public to be religious in wearing the face masks and shields as well as regular disinfection. They must disinfect upon reaching home, change clothes immediately and distant from their family members for a while, Loreche said.

The DOH-7 reiterated that the public’s cooperation is needed to keep the virus at bay.

As for the Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC), deputy chief implementor Councilor Joel Garganera said they will be putting up additional security enhancement perimeter blocks around the vicinity of the Basilica

” We have already perfected those inside and outside the church. The challenge is in the entrance gate especially for those that were not allowed to enter the premises. Councilors Philip Zafra and  DavidTumulak together with the Police are making the said adjustment.”

“We are asking our devotees that they will maintain the same protocol in the said mass and in traveling back to their respective residence. We should protect ourselves always because doing so will also make others safe and protected,” said Garganera. /rcg


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