DOH-7: There is ‘3rd wave’ but COVID-19 outbreak remains controllable
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) on Monday, July 12, is standing by with their pronouncement that the region is experiencing a “3rd wave” in the rise of new COVID-19 cases.
But they assured the public that the outbreak here was still manageable, and had not adversely impacted the health care system.
Dr. Eugenia Mercedes Cañal, cluster head of the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU) in Central Visayas, said they described the gradual and continuing rise of COVID-19 cases, that started in May, as a “wave”.
Cañal said this was the “3rd wave” they noted since the COVID-19 pandemic struck the region in 2020.
“The wave is not like the wave of zombies that happened overnight. It means a description or a pattern of peaks. Based on our epi-curve, our cases, when we made a graph, we saw a U-shape,” said Cañal in a mix of English and Cebuano.
“Last week of April and of May, going up to June and up to July, our cases here are slowly increasing. And thus, it created another peak. That’s what we called a wave but we don’t necessarily mean that when there’s a wave, thousands of cases were made overnight,” she added.
Over the weekend, the regional health office announced that Central Visayas was experiencing the 3rd wave of new COVID-19 cases.
However, Cañal on Monday said that even though there’s a slight spike in the number of newly confirmed infections in all areas in the region, the healthcare system here remained at safe levels.
“I don’t like to inject fear and panic to the community and to the public. In fact, our critical care utilization rates are still within healthy levels. The outbreak is still manageable but then again, we shall not let our guards down,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Councilor Joel Garganera, head of Cebu City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), also shared the same sentiments with Cañal.
In a separate interview, Garganera said DOH-7’s recent proclamation was a “wake-up call” for all sectors in the city not to be complacent even if the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines was ongoing.
“One thing for sure in this pandemic – dili gyud ta maka-zero aning COVID. While COVID is very much around, we are here like a roller-coaster ride mosaka, moubos and it is where how we manage it. It is (about) how we contain it that really matter in this,” said Garganera.
(One thing for sure in this pandemic — we cannot get a zero case for COVID. While COVID is very much around, we are like a roller-coaster ride — the cases will go up and down — and it is where we manage it. It is (about) how we contain it that (would) really matter in this)
“But then again dili ni mahimo namo ra sa EOC. Dili ni mahimo sa gobyerno sa Cebu City government, sa atong mga frontliners. We really need the participation natong tanan,” he added.
(But then again, the EOC cannot do it. The Cebu City government cannot do it, and also our frontliners. We really need the participation of all.)
According to the latest COVID-19 bulletin from DOH-7, active COVID-19 cases in the region as of July 11 are at 8,344.
Of this number, 3,563 are from Negros Oriental and 1,987 are from Bohol. Cebu City has 1,114 while Cebu province has 861.
The cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu have 340 and 447 respectively.
The entire Central Visayas is presently under the most lenient form of community quarantine – the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
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