Cebu City cases falling, but no reason to relax

·4 min read

NEW coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in Cebu City are declining, but the public must not become complacent because the daily count continues to exceed 100 and the positivity rate is still higher than the World Health Organization (WHO) benchmark.

Councilor Joel Garganera, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) deputy chief implementer, on Monday, March 8, 2021, said he observed a downtrend in the past week based on the number of cases detected in the barangays.

Barangay Guadalupe, which listed the most number of Covid-19 cases for the past 10 days, reported 137 cases from Feb. 26 to March 7.

Garganera said Guadalupe used to have 241 cases in a week.

“In fact, only Guadalupe has a case count in three digits. The rest are two digits,” Garganera told reporters.

Other barangays that recorded the most number of cases in the past 10 days were Talamban with 94 cases; Tisa with 79 cases; Mabolo with 69 cases; and Apas with 66 cases.

There are 71 barangays in Cebu City which have reported active Covid-19 transmission, while nine have reported zero Covid-19 cases for the past 10 days.

New cases

On March 8, Cebu City recorded 132 new cases, the lowest in nine days.

As of March 8, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Cebu City has reached 18,747, with 14,725 recoveries, 759 deaths and 3,263 remaining active cases, Department of Health Central Visayas (DOH 7) data showed.

DOH 7 data showed that the seven-day moving average of new Covid-19 cases in Cebu City has been declining since mid-February.

New cases averaged 157 a day in the first week of March (1 to 7) compared to a daily average of 231 in Feb. 17 to 23.

EOC data, meanwhile, showed a positivity rate of 9.51 percent out of the 195,353 individuals in Cebu City who have been tested for Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, as of March 7.

Those tested constitute about a fifth of Cebu City’s estimated one million population.

Before governments consider reopening, the WHO said the positivity rate must be 5.0 percent or lower for at least 14 days.

Health protocols

Garganera said there is no reason for the public to become complacent.

He reminded operators of restaurants and other food establishments to continue strict implementation of health safety protocols.

Restaurants are allowed to operate up to 70 percent of capacity in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), such as Cebu City.

The EOC has noted that during weekends, some food establishments tend to fail in strictly implementing this restriction.

“I know that during weekends, the restaurants are trying to offset their losses during weekdays, when there are very few customers. But then again, let’s not sacrifice safety,” said Garganera.

Garganera said the Task Force Kasaligan will be visiting food establishments randomly to ensure compliance to physical distancing, allowed capacity and other regulations.

Garganera noted that the people are “most vulnerable” when eating since face masks and face shields are removed.

Nationwide tracker

Based on the DOH nationwide tracker, Quezon City (QC) has overtaken Cebu City in terms of the number of new cases in the recent 14 days.

QC, which has a population of over 3.0 million, posted 2,033 new cases, the highest running total in the last 14 days to March 7.

This exceeded the 2,011 cases in Cebu City, which had been at the top spot since late January 2021.

Other areas with the highest number of new cases for the period are Pasay City (1,805), Manila (1,660) and Cebu Province (1,125).

For the fourth consecutive day on March 8, DOH reported more than 3,000 new coronavirus infections in a day.

In its case bulletin at 4 p.m. Monday, the DOH confirmed 3,356 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total case count to 597,763.

Deaths remained low, with DOH reporting five additional mortalities, raising the death toll from Covid-19 to 12,521.

The low number of deaths reported amid the surge in new cases brought the case fatality rate down to 2.09 percent.

There were 61 new recoveries, increasing the total to 545,912. There remained 39,330 active cases in hospitals and isolation facilities.

The positivity rate was still high at 8.8 percent as 1,766 out of 19,996 samples tested in the 24-hour period to 12 noon of March 7 were found positive for Sars-CoV-2.

Among the regions, the National Capital Region (NCR) has the highest number of new cases for the period at 11,788, followed by Central Visayas (4,671), Calabarzon (2,823), Central Luzon (1,901) and Cordillera (1,365). (JJL, SunStar Philippines)