AMID the continuous increase of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas reverted Negros Occidental back from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3, or still moderate risk, in terms of transmission.
As of Tuesday, September 21, 2021, the province is considered a moderate risk area because its hospital care utilization rate was at 68 percent.
Under the DOH guidelines, areas categorized under Alert Level 3 have a bed utilization or Intensive Care Unit utilization rate of at least 70 percent or lower.
These areas are advised to conduct granular or localized lockdowns and active case finding for areas with local Delta variant cases and that hospitals and other medical facilities should be decongested of mild and asymptomatic cases, the DOH said.
The agency also stressed that areas under Alert Level 3 should increase Covid-19 bed capacities to 30 percent.
Meanwhile, the highly urbanized Bacolod City remained under Alert level 4 or a high-risk area of Covid-19 transmission as it continued to battle with the increasing number of cases for the past weeks.
Most hospitals in the Negros Occidental capital city already declared that they have reached the maximum limit of bed capacities intended for Covid-19 patients.
The city’s hospital care utilization rate stood at 80.33 percent, DOH-Western Visayas reported.
The regional line agency encourages the City Government to implement granular or localized lockdowns, conduct active case finding for areas with local Delta variant cases and increase hospital beds urgently, especially those that are in intensive care units.
Areas under Alert Level 4 are also asked to ensure that oxygen tanks are sufficient and available and that severe and critical cases are immediately and properly referred.
As of Tuesday, Negros Occidental and Bacolod City’s two-week growth rate was at 85 percent and 72 percent, respectively, while average daily attack rate or the number of confirmed cases for every 10,000 population of the province was at 6.56 percent and 17.63 percent for the city, the DOH records showed.
It added that Negros Occidental’s positivity rate was at 23 percent and 18 percent in Bacolod City.
Dr. Julius Drilon, chief of the government-run Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH), said they do not expect these numbers to go down in a few days and even in a month.
Drilon said they have predicted the increase of Covid-19 cases in Bacolod and Negros Occidental based on their epidemiological analysis.
He said their data show that 64 percent of Covid-19 patients admitted to manifest moderate, severe or critical symptoms of the disease.
Drilon said most of these patients are unvaccinated.
As this developed, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson directed the establishment of Valeriano M. Gatuslao Memorial District Hospital in Himamaylan City as one of the Covid-19 Centers for the province effective September 17, 2021.
All Covid-19 positive Negrenses that are considered moderate cases shall be referred to the hospital where they shall receive proper treatment until they are fit to be discharged.