PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF CEBU CITY PIO CEBU City officials praised the discipline of those who attended the Señor Santo Niño celebrations.
OCTA Research confirmed on Tuesday that coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in Cebu City are rising again.
“Yes, numbers in Cebu City are going up. The positivity rate is up 5 percent,” OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David told the Daily Tribune. “The increase was due to the holidays because there were social gatherings and parties.”
OCTA also cited Cebu Province, Davao del Sur, Isabela, Misamis Oriental and Agusan del Sur as areas of concern due to increase in infections last week.
North District City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy implementer of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), however, said aggressive testing resulted in more infections detected.
“Ours is below 5 percent positivity rate, which is the World Health Organization threshold. Yes, our numbers are high, in double digits, but it’s because we’ve been testing more,” he added. “As of the moment, there are no lockdown plans.”
As of 18 January, Cebu City has 618 active cases.
Among Central Visayas provinces, Negros Oriental topped the list with 640, followed by Cebu’s 355, Bohol’s 12 and Siquijor’s four.
Assistant City Health Officer Dr. Michelle Linsalata echoed that the increase is justified because of testing and contact tracing.
“We might be the only local government unit (LGU) that conduct tests among asymptomatic individuals,” she said, citing 70 to 80 percent of their confirmed cases are asymptomatic.
David advised that health protocols should be strictly followed at all times, especially with the threat of the UK and South African variants.
The EOC said it has no contact tracing backlogs since the start of the year.
“This means that while Covid-19 transmission is accelerating, the EOC has located and extracted close contact persons of the confirmed cases daily, thus containing the virus,” Harold Alcontin, head of EOC extraction cluster, said in a statement. “Because of our preparation for the past two months and using our available data last November, we sufficiently prepared for this spike.”
Dr. Catherine Echevarre, medical head of the contact tracing cluster, also noted that despite the surge of cases in Cebu City, “we are able to say that all positive cases are accounted for and being isolated to our different isolation facilities within the city.”
Department of Health-Central Visayas chief pathologist Dr. Mary Jean Loreche said the “greater number of our active cases are newly included as reported confirmed cases.”
“Post-Christmas surge-related recoveries will still be happening in the coming days. It takes 14 days before a patient is declared clinically recovered,” she said.
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