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Asymptomatic patients make up 92% of COVID-19 cases in Cebu City 

Despite slow rise in hospital utilization rate in Cebu City, DOH-7 assures this is not a cause for alarm

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | February 15,2021 - 06:48 PM


Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, the spokesperson of DOH-7. | file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Even as the critical care utilization rates of hospitals in Metro Cebu gradually increase, health officials here assure that this is not an alarming development. 

The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) on Monday, February 15 said they recorded utilization rate of 43.5 percent for private hospitals in Metro Cebu as of February 14. 

This is higher compared to the 40.6 percent registered last February 10. 

DOH-7 also said critical care utilization rates among public hospitals in the metropolis had reached 59 percent as of February 14. 

Read: DOH-7 says Cebu City hospitals still far from being overwhelmed

But Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of DOH-7, told reporters in a virtual presser on Monday that these figures should not be considered as a ‘cause for alarm’.

Loreche said this was so after health authorities observed that most of the newly confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients in Cebu City happened to be asymptomatic or those without symptoms. 

DOH-7, as of February 14, recorded 2,993 active COVID-19 cases in Cebu City. 

Active cases refer to patients still infected with SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of the disease.

Of this figure, around 2,706 or accounting to around 92 percent are asymptomatic patients.  

Read: Hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Cebu are rising

On the other hand, 141 were classified as patients with mild symptoms, 84 with moderate symptoms, 51 with severe symptoms, and 11 as critical cases. 

“We want to emphasize on the active cases in Cebu City to tell us and give us an idea on what’s truly happening. If we have 50 percent of total active cases and are moderate to severe cases, that is a cause for alarm,” said Loreche. 

“But knowing more than 80 percent are asymptomatics, we are more or less running after the contacts already of the index patients or previously confirmed patients,” she added. 

DOH-7 also said all of the asymptomatic patients were confined in designated isolation facilities and quarantine facilities. 

This is the latest statements from DOH-7 in relation to projections made by OCTA Research Group, dated February 11, 2021, that hospitals in Cebu City would be overwhelmed due to the continued increase of COVID-19 cases. 

DOH-7 earlier responded to the report by assuring the public that hospitalization utility rates here remained at safe levels. 

Loreche also said the outbreak here remained under manageable levels by pointing out to the low case fatality rates (CFR) or the ratio between COVID-related mortalities and new cases logged.

For Cebu City, the regional health office registered a CFR of 0.64 percent from January 1 to February 13. 

This meant that they recorded 24 deaths out of the 3,775 new COVID-19 cases recorded within such period. 

“We would also emphasize that low CFR implied proper management of cases, and that we have very efficient referral systems now compared to before,” Loreche noted. /dbs

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TAGS: active cases, asymptomatic patients, COVID-19, Department of Health in Central Visayas, DOH-7, Loreche

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