6 doctors in Cebu City who tested positive for Covid-19 in hotel isolation

·3 min read

FOUR government doctors and two private medical practitioners in Cebu City have been infected with Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

They’re currently in isolation in hotels accredited by the Department of Health (DOH), while they recover from the disease.

Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said there’s no cause for alarm, adding that many government frontliners have undergone isolation in hotels after testing positive for the disease since the pandemic started in March.

“This is not new. For today we only have six (doctors) from four different hospitals. Yes, the VSMMC (Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center) is one, but we in the EOC prefer not to name the establishments,” Garganera said in Cebuano.

In November, the EOC logged the most number of medical practitioners who tested positive for Covid-19, which is highly infectious, he said.

“We had 21 positive medical frontliners from different hospitals and facilities. In fact, one time, we had 15 doctors who tested positive in one hospital,” Garganera said.

He said the medical frontliners have since recovered since all of them either had no or mild symptoms.

The city official said the public need not worry since they have the situation under control so the virus won’t spread.

“We have a very healthy coordination between hospital’s Hipcos (health infectious preventive control officers) and our EOC in terms of contact tracing, swabbing and isolation,” he said.

In Mandaue City, the city’s EOC has reported an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.

In the beginning of December, the city averaged one positive case daily, according to EOC head August Lizer Malate. Towards the end of the month, the number rose to three cases.

However, Malate downplayed the significance of the trend, saying the same thing happened in November.

“After All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, there was an increase in the number of cases in a matter of days. So again, the congregation of people really invites the exposure to the Covid-19 virus,” he said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

During holidays, people gather with friends and families, he said, so there’s a high probability that cases will go up after Christmas and the New Year.

However, it’s too early to say, he said, adding that they’re preparing for the possible arrival of the variant of Covid-19, first found in the UK, which is reportedly 70 percent more transmissible.

Malate said they’re waiting for instructions and guidelines from the DOH and the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

He assured the public that they’re better prepared to address the problem, if it comes, compared to last year.

Meanwhile, Malate hopes the City will be able to maintain its management strategies in fighting Covid-19, considering the Sinulog celebration is less than two weeks away.

Mandaue City currently has 29 active cases. (PAC / PJB / KFD)