Mandaue City’s EOC chief notes ‘slight drop’ in active cases
Only 2 of the city's 3 isolation facilities are occupied
MANDAUE CITY, Philippines- Mandaue City still has 964 active cases of the coronavirus disease as of March 28, 2021, data from the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) showed.
But the accommodation of individuals who tested positive for the coronavirus disease is no longer a problem because of the availability of three isolation facilities here.
As of today, only two of the city’s isolation facilities – Norkis Park Isolation Unit and the Mandaue City Isolation Unit (MCIU) that is located inside the Mandaue City Central School – are open to accommodate patients.
Lawyer Lizer Malate, head of the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said they opted to continue the operation of the two facilities because of its proximity to the Mandaue City Hospital and other government facilities.
The third isolation facility, the Mandaue City Isolation Center (MCIC) that is located at the compound of the old Cebu North Bus Terminal in Barangay Subangdaku and can accommodate 60 patients, remains empty and will only be opened if the need arises.
Malate said that the city’s occupancy rate was at 70 to 80 percent as of March 28.
As of March 27, 2021, the Norkis Park Isolation Unit had 40 admissions with 39 beds still unoccupied. MCIU, on the other hand, has 81 patients and 33 free beds.
Slight drop in active cases
He said that they were expecting a drop in admissions in the coming days after they also noted a “slight drop” in the number of active cases reported on a daily basis while some of the COVID-19 positive individuals were already starting to recover.
Malate said the city’s positivity rate was at 13.01 percent on Saturday, March 27, from 16.34 percent during the first 15 days of March.
Its positivity rate for the first two weeks of March was the highest that the city recorded since the pandemic started in March 2020.
Malate said that the city’s COVID-19 situation is now manageable because the city government is better prepared while city residents are also more informed on what to do and where to go in case of an infection.
Looking back, Malate said the city was faced with several concerns when the pandemic hit.
One of the most pressing concerns was what to do with the growing number of COVID-19 patients. This was the reason that they opened the Mandaue City Quarantine Facility that is now referred to as the MCIU.
The city’s Department of General Services (DGS) made sure that the MCIU was fit for the isolation and recovery of its occupants.
Two months later, in July 2020, the city opened its two other isolation facilities as a preparation for a massive rise in cases here. It was also during this time when its neighbor, Cebu City, was given the tag as the “epicenter” of the outbreak in the country.
But this time, it was the Department of Public Works and Highways in Central Visayas (DPWH-7) that worked on the establishment of the MCIC, which they officially turned over to the city government in October 2020.
When cases at the MCIU started to drop to less than 20 in December 2020, the city government decided on its temporary closure after all of its COVID-19 patients have already recovered. The city had a one percent positivity rate then, the lowest that it has had in one year.
As the city’s COVID-19 cases further dropped, local officials decided to just continue the operation of the Norkis Park quarantine facility so they could already allow the Department of Education (DepEd) to again use the school.
On February 2, 2021, the Norkis Park facility that was also built by DGS and the City Engineering Office was formally opened for public use.
To date, the city government continues to refer COVID-19 positive individuals to the Norkis Park facility.
The MCIU, on the other hand, is now being used as quarantine facility for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) undergoing 14-days quarantine and those who are waiting for their reswabbing schedule.
The MCIC has also been converted into an extension of the city’s reswabbing center.
But before February ended, and with another surge of cases here that is blamed on holiday activities which brought people outside of their homes, MCIU and MCIC were again identified as among the city’s available isolation facilities.
Mandaue City’s positive rate grew from one percent in December 2020 to 10 percent in February 2021. / dcb
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