THE Cebu City Government has recorded an additional 24 coronavirus disease (Covid-19)-positive patients on Thursday, April 16, 2020, bringing the total number of Covid cases in the city to 77.
Of the 77 cases, 53 are from Sitio Zapatera, Barangay Luz; while of the 53, 51 are asymptomatic.
The first case of Covid in the area is a 68-year-old patient currently admitted at Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) for fever.
Cebu City Health Officer Daisy Villa said the Department of Health (DOH) Central Visayas has advised the CHD to stop swab testing in Sitio Zapatera as the whole area is now considered to be infected.
Villa said the CHD took 200 swab samples from Sitio Zapatera residents on April 15 — the last batch of samples to be tested from the sitio.
She said doctors of the health office will now focus on other barangays where there are recorded Covid patients although the whole Sitio Zapatera will still be continuously monitored.
The others barangays with Covid-positive cases are: Barangay Guadalupe (six cases with five already laboratory-negative), Talamban (two mortalities and one lab-negative), Sambag 2 (two lab-negative), Kinasang-an (two lab-negative), and Banilad (one mortality and one lab-negative).
Nine other barangays in the city have one Covid-positive patient each: Babag (now lab-negative), Calamba (now lab-negative), Camputhaw (one death), Capitol (now lab-negative), Cogon Ramos (now lab-negative), Labangon, Mambaling, Opra and Sta. Cruz (one death).
A total of 15 laboratory-negative and five mortalities were recorded by the Cebu City Health Department (CHD).
Meanwhile, Mayor Edgardo Labella said authorities are now preparing the Barrio Luz National High School to hold asymptomatic patients in the barangay. Those who are symptomatic will be brought to the quarantine facility in the old Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu campus on Gen. Maxilom Ave., Cebu City.
The said isolation facility is expected to begin operations on Saturday, April 18.
Cebu City’s youngest Covid-positive cases, two nine-month old babies who are twins, will be brought to the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) isolation room, said Labella.
Labella urged residents, not just in Sitio Zapatera, to stay at home as he expected the number of Covid patients in the city to continue to rise with results of swab tests conducted in Sitio Zapatera and other barangays still to be released.
Labella also ordered the police and military officers deployed in Barangay Luz to be stricter in the implementation of the lockdown.
Sitio Zapatera has been on lockdown since April 7 when its first Covid patient was reported.
DOH-7 Regional Director Jaime Bernadas, meanwhile, concludes that Sitio Zapatera now has what is called as “community transmission” with 59 of the 77 cases in Cebu City coming from the sitio.
Bernadas urged officials to isolate the positive cases from the area.
"Most are asymptomatic, usa ra ang needed ug hospital. There as some with mild symptoms which is among gi prioritize nga kuhaon didto. Tanan importante nato makuha ug ibalhin sa facility,” Bernadas said.
As of April 16, the CHD also recorded 39 persons with influenza-like illness (ILI).
A total of 827 persons under monitoring (PUMs) in Cebu City were cleared after completing their home quarantine; while 102 PUMs remain under observation.
Barangay Luz has the most number of PUMs recorded (71), followed by Barangay Talamban (22).
Other barangays with PUMs are Barangays Sambag 2 (1), Santa Cruz (1), Banilad (3), Basak San Nicolas (1); and Quiot (2).
In Mandaue City, a man was tagged as a patient under investigation (PUI) after his live-in partner from Sitio Zapatera, Barangay Luz, was among those who tested positive for Covid-19 in Cebu City.
Umapad Barangay Captain Nelson Rubio Sr. said he immediately ordered a lockdown in Sitio Coconut with its entry points guarded by barangay personnel and local police following reports that the woman always visited Umapad prior to the results of her Covid test.
For his part, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes ordered the family of the city’s third Covid-19 case not to leave their house in Sitio Mangga, Barangay Casuntingan.
The Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERTs) will take care of their needs, Cortes said.
The 73-year old male, now admitted to a private hospital in Cebu City, was believed to have been infected by his wife who was tagged as a PUM for having a travel history.
After the husband tested positive for Covid-19, his wife and other members of his family were also tested.
Cortes said swab test results had yet to be released.
Next week, a quarantine facility built at the Mandaue City Central School gym will begin to accomodate Covid-19 patients with mild to moderate conditions.
Cortes said the facility will have 28 cubicles.
In Central Visayas, a total of 95 cases were recorded by DOH as of April 16.
Of the 27 new Covid cases, 24 are from Cebu City specifically Sitio Zapatera; while three are from Lapu-Lapu City.
The Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center Sub-National Laboratory (VSMMC SNL) has conducted a total of 211 Covid tests — 184 tested negative.
Mass testing will be conducted in barangays with reported Covid positive cases, Bernadas said.
Nationwide, the DOH reported that as more individuals were found positive for the Covid-19, many patients have also recovered.
As of 4 p.m. April 16, 2020, the DOH recorded 207 newly-confirmed cases of infection, bringing the total to 5,660.
Eighty-two additional patients have recovered, raising the total to 435 while the death toll increased to 362.
Thirteen mortalities were reported in the last 24 hours.
Globally, the World Health Organization said more than 1.9 million people have been infected as of April 15. Of the total, 123,010 had died. (JJL, KFD, JCT, SunStar Philippines)