Cebu City avoids chemicals, asks public to help

CEBU City’s councilors declared a state of calamity last Tuesday to inform the public and encourage them to do their part in preventing an infection’s spread, said an official.

Unlike Cebu Province, the City for now will not use any chemicals to contain dengue fever, said Councilor David Tumulak in a phone interview.

The declaration, supported by Mayor Tomas Osmeña, was approved following the City Health Department’s (CHD) recommendation, so that City officials can use more resources against dengue fever.

Based on the CHD’s latest survey, out of 2,089 persons who fell ill with dengue fever this year, 23 have died as of Oct. 1. Figures from the Department of Health’s (DOH) Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit are slightly higher. It recorded 2,156 persons with dengue fever from Jan. 1 to Oct. 1. (See graphic.)

The death toll from dengue fever is the highest Cebu City has seen in the last three years.

Since last year, the City has been on a state of dengue alertness because of an abnormally high occurrence of dengue infections.

In a joint resolution, Councilors David Tumulak and Mary Ann delos Santos said this year has shown an alarming increase in the number of dengue cases compared to the last three years.

“The purpose of the declaration is to inform the public that this is happening, we must all be alert and active in helping each other prevent the spread, and possible outbreak of the infection,” he said.

Tumulak heads the committee on health and sanitation while delos Santos has been designated as deputy mayor on health by Osmeña.

While anti-dengue activities are ongoing in barangays with the highest cases, the councilor said that all sectors of the community must work together.

Everyone is encouraged to start by making sure there is no stagnant water that has been left uncovered. Keep surroundings clean, health officials have advised.

Tumulak pointed out that a major factor in the spread of dengue fever is the failure to maintain cleanliness.

In 2013, five people died in Cebu City out of 1,933 recorded cases of dengue fever.

The cases dropped by 660 the following year, but five persons died.

In 2015, however, from 1,273 cases, the number increased to 2,145 with 16 recorded deaths.

Last August, the DOH identified Sitio Lusaran of Barangay Pardo as one of the 80 dengue hot zones in the country.

Tarpaulin streamers warning the public in dengue zones were put up recently in Barangay Parian, after the CHD recorded 23 cases in the village alone as of September.


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