THE Department of Health (DOH) 7 logged a total of 574 new Covid-19 cases out of the 3,528 tests done in 13 laboratories in Central Visayas on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, bringing the region’s total cases to 81,119.
Of the new cases reported on Wednesday, Cebu City recorded most of the cases at 158. (The Cebu City Emergency Operations Center or EOC reported 163 new cases.)
The city’s increasing cases prompted the Cebu City EOC to urge politicians and their supporters not to hold gatherings, one of which is locally known as “pulong-pulong,” a barangay-level event that usually happens before the election period when the prospective candidates meet with the residents to speak about their programs.
The filing of the certificate of candidacy for the 2022 elections will happen on Oct. 1-8, 2021, while the election period will start on Jan. 9, 2022 and end on June 8, 2022.
City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the EOC, said the police will enforce the policy prohibiting mass gatherings.
The politicians should use the pandemic as an opportunity “to unite and help the city in minimizing the transmission within the community,” said Garganera, a politician himself.
The total positivity rate of Cebu City is 8.40 percent out of the 330,058 tests conducted since March 2020.
Of the 80 barangays in Cebu City, 18 barangays have not recorded any Covid-19 case for the past 10 days, while 64 are currently having active transmission.
Also, of the new cases reported Wednesday, Cebu Province had 151; Lapu-Lapu City, 137; Mandaue City, 54; Negros Oriental, 48; Bohol, 25; and Siquijor, one.
The DOH 7 also recorded on Wednesday a total of 266 additional recoveries and 10 additional reported deaths. The agency, however, clarified that the reported mortalities did not occur in a day and it also did not happen because of an overnight spike in deaths—the figures include the deaths from more than a week ago.
Of the 81,119 total cases, 9,252 were active cases; 69,503, recoveries; and 2,364, mortalities.
Majority of the 9,252 active cases were in Negros Oriental with 3,182 cases. Cebu City came in second with 1,689; Bohol, 1,683; Cebu Province, 1,380; Lapu-Lapu City, 753; Mandaue City, 516; and Siquijor, 49.
As of July 21, the utilization rate of ward, isolation and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds for Covid-19 patients had increased in Central Visayas.
For level three hospitals in the region, 61.40 percent of their isolation beds were already occupied. A utilization rate within 60 percent is considered in the safe zone.
The DOH 7 also reported that 40.80 percent of Covid-19 ward beds and 45.90 percent of the ICU beds in level three hospitals were occupied.
Moreover, 55.50 percent of the isolation beds, 58.30 percent of Covid-19 ward beds, and 42.30 percent of the ICU beds in the region’s level two hospitals were already occupied.
For level one hospitals, 63 percent of isolation beds, 65 percent of Covid-19 ward beds, and 53.30 percent of ICU beds were already occupied.
Level one hospitals offer minimum health services, while level two hospitals have extra facilities and specialist doctors. Level three hospitals have training programs for doctors, dialysis and rehabilitation units, among others.
For infirmaries, 50.60 percent of their Covid-19 ward beds and 42.50 percent of isolation beds were in use.
DOH 7 Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas had said earlier that the agency is currently working on expanding the bed capacity of the hospitals in Central Visayas by reactivating and upgrading temporary treatment and monitoring facilities built by the Department of Public Works and Highways 7, and by sending personnel augmentation to some hospitals.
Meanwhile, of the 4,276 available beds from 48 hotel quarantine facilities in the region, a total of 1,993 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) are currently being accommodated—1,630 are suspect or those still awaiting their test results while 363 are confirmed cases.
In Cebu City, the EOC data shows that there are still a number of beds that are unused in city-managed quarantine facilities—in Cebu City Quarantine Center, 80 beds are available, while 80 are also occupied; in barangay isolation centers, 247 are available, 500 are occupied; and in quarantine hotels, 133 are available, while 204 are occupied. (WBS, JJL)