42 babies born from COVID mothers in Cebu City amid August surge

By: Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | September 01,2021 - 09:04 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Hope appears in unique bundles for Cebu City amid the devastating COVID-19 surge last month which resulted in 266 deaths.

Amid the surge of cases, deaths, and hospital admissions, at least 42 babies managed to fight through and be born in hospitals and isolation centers in the city to COVID-19 from infected mothers.

All 42 babies are healthy and strong and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is proud that some of them were born in the city-managed isolation center such as the Cebu City Central School.

The latest babies born in City Central were on August 30, 2021, dawn, both coming from COVID-positive mothers who were asymptomatic at the time of birth.

The Department of Health Region 7 (DOH-7) said that the COVID-19 situation in Cebu City is already improving with daily cases dropping to an average of 200 in the last days of August 2021.

The number of cases also started to drop to below 300 starting August 21.

The DOH-7 believes that aggressive testing and speedy contact tracing are the reasons why the cases are now slowly declining.

Councilor Joel Garganera, the deputy chief implementor of the EOC, said that with a turnaround time of 24 hours, they could immediately conduct contact tracing of index cases.

He explained that the contact tracing team has swabbers who take samples of household members and other first-generation contacts of index cases. For second-generation contacts, they will test only those experiencing symptoms.

“Dali ra atong intervention kay matest naman sila (Our intervention is faster because they can be tested),” Garganera said.

During a recent meeting, DOH-7 chief pathologist Dr. Mary Jean Loreche urged local government units to immediately test all contacts of index cases so they could implement immediate containment measures.

Dr. Loreche explained that with aggressive testing, LGUs will experience a peak of positive cases.

However, the positive cases would start to go down after LGUs isolate these cases to prevent further transmission.

Retired Major General Melquiades Feliciano, the Interagency Task Force Visayas chief implementer, had also urged LGUs to conduct contact tracing and testing of first-generation contacts.

Feliciano urged LGUs to focus on areas where there is a breach of protocol based on the data gathered from positive cases.

“Close contacts must be traced and tested within 24 hours,” he added.     /rcg

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TAGS: aggressive testing, Cebu City, contact tracing, Councilor Joel Garganera, COVID-19, COVID-19 babies, Department of Health, Emergency Operations Center, newborn babies, pandemic

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