Cebu City reaches lowest Covid-19 positivity rate since start of 2021

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ON THE 89th day of 2021, the Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) recorded a 6.71 percent Covid-19 positivity rate—the lowest positivity rate recorded in the city since the start of the new year.

This was achieved after the city recorded only 57 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, March 30, according to City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the EOC.

Garganera said the new cases were from a set of 850 individuals who were tested for the virus that causes Covid-19.

“The EOC is elated because for this year we have (recorded) the lowest positivity rate,” he told reporters.

Near benchmark

Garganera said the recorded daily positivity rate on March 30 is nearing the World Health Organization’s (WHO) positivity rate benchmark, which is five percent.

WHO recommended in May last year that the government may consider reopening or loosening restrictions if the positivity rate remained below five percent for at least two weeks.

A high percentage of positive tests suggests high Covid-19 infection rates due to high transmission in the community and it can indicate it may be a good time to add restrictions to slow the spread of the disease, according to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In Cebu City, the total test positivity rate is at 9.79 percent out of the 219,733 individuals tested since March last year.

Garganera said the critical care occupancy rate in 15 hospitals in Cebu City is “low.”

Based on the data of the EOC, the bed occupancy rate in 15 hospitals is at 36.2 percent out of the 1,010 total beds allocated for Covid-19 patients.

In good shape

The EOC data also show that the city’s isolation centers are in good shape as there are still 1,323 beds available.

The New Normal Oasis for Adaptation and a Home (Noah) Complex has 320 available beds and 130 occupied beds. Cebu City Quarantine Center (CCQC) has 85 available and 75 occupied beds. Barangay isolation centers (BICs) have 790 available beds and 254 occupied beds, and isolation hotels have 128 available beds and 86 occupied beds.

The EOC also noted that the barangays in Cebu City have had fewer reported cases in the last 10 days.

Garganera said Barangay Guadalupe, in the past weeks, used to have three-digit Covid-19 cases recorded in 10 days. But the village’s cases went down to 93 cases.

Guadalupe’s 93 Covid-19 cases were recorded in the past 10 days, from March 21 to 30.

Other barangays with fewer cases are Talamban, 68 cases in the last 10 days; Lahug, 56; Apas, 50; and Tisa, 46.

These barangays are among the 66 barangays that have active transmission.

Also from March 21 to 30, 14 barangays recorded no Covid-19 transmission.

Cebu City is composed of 80 barangays.

Despite these statistical improvements, Garganera said the public must be vigilant, and the government must be serious in its implementation of health protocols to bring down the cases further.

With the long weekend ahead because of the Holy Week, Garganera reminded the public to still observe minimum health protocols such as wearing masks and face shields when they join gatherings of their family or friends and when they ride public utility vehicles like buses and vans. (JJL)

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