Health officials hope Cebu remains under Alert Level 2
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Despite rapid increase in COVID-19 cases here, health officials are hoping that Cebu will remain under a more relaxed quarantine classification.
The number of active COVID cases in the entire Cebu have breached the 1,000 mark on January 10, 2022, based on the latest bulletin from the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7).
This after the entire island province registered a total of 187 newly infected patients on that day. Of this number, 126 came from the capital Cebu City.
Cebu City has 605 active infections while Cebu province has 333. For Mandaue City and Lapu-Lapu City, they have 98 and 96 active COVID-19 patients respectively.
Despite this surge, hospitalizations and admissions here remained low.
The COVID-19 tracker of DOH showed that as of January 9, occupancy levels in both public and private hospitals in the entire Cebu are at 19.2 percent.
This meant that out of the 928 COVID-dedicated beds here, only 178 were occupied.
Hospital occupancy levels are usually used to gauge the gravity of the COVID-19 outbreak in an area. They are considered within safe levels if they do not go beyond 60 percent.
But health officials cautioned the public to keep their guards up, saying the continued rise of new cases is ‘just the beginning’.
“We are just at the beginning of the rising cases so vigilance is the name of the game,” said Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, chief pathologist of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7).
Loreche pointed out that the low number of admissions could be attributed to multiple factors.
“If the symptoms are mild, the patients most likely will stay at home and don’t undergo testing anymore,” said Loreche.
She also said individuals setting aside their health appointments for the meantime to focus on post-Odette recovery and rehabilitation efforts contributed to this development.
“(And also), the mind set that they are “fully vaccinated or boostered” contributes to the confidence that if they develop symptoms they are somehow unafraid so they don’t get themselves admitted,” Loreche added.
The DOH-7 official also said they need more data to determine if most of the recently infected patients are only showing little to no symptoms of COVID-19, leading to the low occupancy rates in hospitals.
“We need more data to support this claim that the newly infected patients are showing mild or no symptoms. But if the trend continues that, despite the rising numbers of positives the hospital utilization remains low, then it might be safe to think so,” said Loreche.
On the other hand, Loreche said they are hoping the entire Cebu will not be reverted back to stricter quarantine classifications soon.
“We pray that one Cebu remains in alert level 2 and that our processes and containment measures can ride this surge,” she continued.
Cebu’s Alert Level 2 status is expected to last until January 31, 2022.
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