52 COVID-19 deaths in Cebu City worry EOC

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | January 28,2022 - 03:43 PM
52 COVID DEATHS WORRY EOC. In photo is a digital interpretation of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant. | Inquirer file photo

Digital interpretation of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant | INQUIRER.net file photo

CEBU CITY, Phillippines — The Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) maintains that the COVID-19 cases in the city remain manageable despite reporting three-digit new cases per day.

However, the number of deaths, which has now reached 52 for January, has the EOC worried even if the mortalities are significantly lower than that of the last surge. which reached 355 in August 2021.

Furthermore, the city recorded one of its youngest casualties so far, a 4-month-old baby who contracted the virus. The EOC had yet to divulge the details of which and it is not yet clear if the baby died of COVID-19 or some other preexisting illness.

“In the past week, the number of validated and verified deaths are noticeable. It has an average of 5-6 deaths per day making 45 deaths in one week. Out of the 45 deaths, 19 were in the age range between 30-59 while the remaining 26 were all senior citizens. 29 of the 45 deaths were unvaccinated, 5 were fully vaccinated and 11 were partially vaccinated,” said Councilor Joel Garganera, the chief implementor of the EOC.

“In comparison, the deaths recorded in the first month of Delta driven surge were lesser (15) compared to the deaths recorded in our present (47 and counting) Omicron variant. 64 percent of it were unvaccinated plus the 11 partially vaccinated,” Gargarnera said.

Of the 45 deaths in the last eight days, 64 percent were unvaccinated, 25 percent were partially vaccinated, and 11 percent were fully vaccinated.

This is the reason why the EOC is pushing for the public to get vaccinated because the data shows a higher risk of mortality for unvaccinated individuals.

“I think with these data, no more explanations are needed. The numbers can speak for themselves. We need to get vaccinated because whether we like it or not, COVID is still with us and it will never leave us yet. Most especially, COVID has the capacity to kill and if we are complacent, we can be a victim,” added the councilor.

Slowly improving

Even though the deaths are concerning, Garganera notes that the daily positivity rate is going down, although it’s not a consistent downtrend.

For January 28, 2022, the city has recorded a positivity rate of 36 percent, after reaching more than 50 percent in the past week.

Still the number of daily cases is high with 474 recorded for January 27, 2022.

Garganera said that since most of the cases were asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, this would mean that people could isolate at home, and there were no congestion at Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities (TTMF) or hospitals.

The councilor urged the public to continue following the health protocols and stay at home if they had no reason to go out to curb the spread of Omicron variant.

Hospital beds available, staff not

While there are 602 available COVID-19 beds in all 22 hospitals in the city, the problem is the lack of staff to man the COVID-19 wards.

The allotted beds are already lower than in the last Delta-driven surge, which reached 1,112 beds for COVID patients.

Yet the hospitals cannot increase their bed capacity because many of the health care professionals are getting infected with the virus.

“Katunga ra atong beds because 692 frontliners sa atong hospitals ang nangaigo sad. Gi-isolate na sila. So we have to be mindful nga magpalabi tag taas nya mao ra ni atong maaccommodate, let’s all be mindful kay we are not sure what is in store for us in the coming days,” said Garganera.

(We can only accommodate half of the beds because 692 of our frontliners in our hospitals have been infected. We have isolated them. So we have to be mindful that we must not let our cases increase that much because we can only accommodate this much today. Let us be mindful because we are not sure what is in store for us in the coming days.)

Fortunately, majority of the health workers infected are asymptomatic and are very likely to recover from the infection soon.

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