THE Cebu City Government will shoulder the medical bills of individuals who cannot afford to pay for checkups as recorded dengue cases in the city in the first five months of 2022 have already breached the 1,000 mark.

Gerardo Carillo, chairman of the Cebu City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council (CCDRRMC), told SunStar Cebu Sunday, June 12, 2022, that the city will set up a hotline number that residents can call immediately for assistance if they feel someone is at risk of dengue.

“If someone has a fever and they doubt it is dengue, they can call us and we will facilitate the admission to the nearest hospital for checkup,” said Carillo, a lawyer.

Carillo added that the City Government will shoulder the expenses to ease the fear of the residents over the medical bills that they might incur.

Based on the data released by the Cebu City Health Department (CCHD), the city had recorded 1,033 dengue cases as of June 10.

At least 17 individuals have already died from the mosquito-borne disease.

Carillo also mentioned that he had a meeting with representatives from different hospitals on creating a dedicated lane for individuals suspected to have the dengue fever.

According to Carillo, a fast lane for patients suspected to have dengue fever has already been opened at the Cebu City Medical Center.

Carillo said they are closely monitoring the number of cases in the city to mitigate the effects and prevent it from being declared an outbreak.

According to CCHD officials, possible symptoms of dengue are fever, body malaise, abdominal pain, vomiting, and in severe cases, bleeding.

In recent interviews, CCHD head Dr. Jeffrey Ibones said the rise of dengue cases in the city can be attributed to the persistent rains brought about by different weather phenomena like Typhoon Odette (Rai) in December 2021 and Tropical Depression Agaton (Megi) in April 2022.

The CCHD has identified 11 barangays that are considered at high risk for dengue infection because of the high number of cases in their area.

These are Barangays Guadalupe, Lahug, Poblacion Pardo, Inayawan, Mambaling, Kamputhaw, Punta Princesa, Talamban, Quiot Pardo, Capitol Site, and Tisa.

Carillo urged the barangay officials to continue their search and destruction of the potential breeding grounds of the mosquitos.

All barangays in the city were also instructed to create a Dengue Committee that will be tasked to sustain the cleanup drives within their respective jurisdictions, Carillo added.