Friday, September 24, 2021

Garganera appeals to residents to discipline selves as Covid spreads

Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera. (File photo)

CEBU City Councilor Joel Garganera, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) deputy chief implementer, has urged residents to avoid any form of mass gathering while coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases continue to rise in the city.

On Tuesday, July 27, 2021, the City recorded 196 new cases.

According to Garganera, the City has logged cases in the three digits in the last 10 days.

“Palihog tawon mo-cooperate ta. Disiplina ta sa atong tagsatagsa ka mga kaugalingon kay kaning atong gibuhat karon para rani kanato labi na nga moabot ang Pasko para hamugaway ug kumpleto ang atong pamilya. Sakripisyo lang una kita karon,” he appealed to residents.

(Please cooperate with the City’s health and safety measures. Practice self-discipline since what we are doing is for the good of all, especially since we want our families to be complete with Christmas fast approaching. So let’s sacrifice for the time being.)

The Department of Health (DOH) 7 logged 118 new cases on July 18, followed by 120 on July 19, 180 on July 20, 158 on July 21, 211 on July 22, 146 on July 23, 308 on July 24, 196 on July 25 and 161 on July 26.

Garganera said the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu have coordinated to implement the same curfew hours, which are from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., and impose a liquor ban in public areas.

Garganera said the admissions of Covid-19 patients in some private hospitals in the city have reached a critical level with patients lining up inside their emergency rooms (ERs) waiting to be admitted.

Overall, though, he clarified that the critical care utilization rate (CCUR) has not reached 60 percent.

The CCUR refers to the number of intensive care units, isolation beds and ventilators in use in different health and medical facilities for Covid-19 patients.

Based on the data from the DOH 7, Cebu City now has 2,085 active cases. A total of 902 persons have died from the disease since the pandemic started at the end of March last year.

Influenza-like illness increase

Meanwhile, Dr. James Deiparine of the Deiparine Community Hospital in the southern town of Sibonga, Cebu said influenza-like illness consults have risen almost five-fold in the past two weeks.

“The past week, a lot of patients are coming in for dyspnea and body malaise in the ER. All need admission. Most have to stay in the ER awaiting vacancy in our inpatient Covid beds,” he said.

He said they currently have eight patients in the ER and one in their pre-ER Covid bed. The 24-bed level 1 private hospital only had five beds allocated for Covid-19 patients until the number was raised to eight.

He said they want to provide more beds for Covid-19 patients, but they don’t have enough manpower.

“Just three days ago, our LGU (local government unit) provided us with a tent with five beds. We are still setting it up with proper exhaust fans and ventilation,” he said.

Deiparine said the supplier of their oxygen has been having difficulty meeting their demands since the latter also services other hospitals in the south like the ones in Dalaguete and Oslob.

To address the problem, they have forged a deal with a firm in San Fernando so the hospital could meet its daily requirement of 20-25 oxygen tanks, he said. Before the surge, the hospital only required 20-25 oxygen tanks every week.

He said they have put on hold all elective surgeries. Operating room nurses have also been tasked to assist in the ER when necessary.

He said they also converted their out-patient department into an ER for non-Covid cases.

He said the hospital also caters to patients from San Fernando, Carcar City and Argao.

“Our finances (are) stretched thin. We need to pay our employees salary, electricity, oxygen, PPEs (personal protective equipment) and medical supplies. PhilHealth has issued an order of No Balance Billing Policy for Covid patients admitted in our Covid wards. That means the entire bill during the patient admission is care of PHIC (Philippine Health Insurance Corp.). Since last year, none of our Covid claims have been paid and the hospital needs cash, not receivables,” he said.

He said while the situation is still manageable, the uncertain increase in cases leaves the hospital’s future uncertain.

“We need not go back to ECQ (enhanced community quarantine). Just implement the protocol and hasten the vaccination program,” Deiparine said. (PAC / PJB / WBS)


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