THERE are now 4,228 cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in Cebu, but this is nothing to be alarmed about and massive lockdowns should not be used to address the problem, according to the governor of Cebu.
In her early evening press briefing Wednesday, June 10, 2020, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said there were 15 new Covid-19 cases in Cebu Province, 195 new cases in Cebu City, three in Lapu-Lapu City and six in Mandaue City.
The new cases bring the total number of cases in Cebu Province to 324, in Cebu City to 3,439, in Lapu-Lapu City to 145 and Mandaue City to 320, for a total of 4,228 cases in the whole province.
She said there had been too much fear surrounding Covid-19 because of the increasing numbers reported, but she said what was important to remember was that not all of these were “active” cases, which she defined as those who were in the hospital or home quarantine or a quarantine facility because they had symptoms, like fever or cough.
Of the 309 cases in Cebu Province as of June 9, 2020, she said only 61 cases were active cases, 134 were asymptomatic, 87 had recovered, and only 27 had died.
She said those who recovered had recovered “without medicine or a vaccine.”
What’s more, of the 27 who died, she said only three had died due to Covid-19. The rest died of other causes such as kidney disease, heart disease, cancer, aneurysm, and pulmonary tuberculosis (TB), and it was only “incidental” that they also had Covid-19.
Garcia also said that of the 309 cases listed under Cebu Province, only 266 were residing there, 15 were only temporary residents as they were mainly residing in Cebu City, seven were repatriated overseas Filipino workers, while the rest were health workers or personnel of hospitals living in Cebu City.
Garcia said some of the patients had not gone to the towns they had listed as their residences in the Province for a while.
She cited a Covid-19 patient who claimed to be from Asturias town but works in the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City, which Garcia said houses its workers in the city. She said two patients who listed their address as Carmen town also worked in the VSMMC, and were similarly housed in Cebu City.
To these examples, she added the Covid-19 case from Samboan, who is actually a fisherman in Palawan, and a case listed under Barili, who works as a driver in Cebu City.
She said hysteria over Covid-19 was overblown, as other diseases like dengue and tuberculosis had killed more people in Cebu than Covid-19.
The governor said that from Jan. 1 to June 9, 2020, there were 2,490 dengue cases and 2,749 pulmonary TB cases in Cebu Province, compared to just 309 Covid-19 cases.
Twelve had died from dengue, and 21 from TB, versus only three who, died from Covid-19.
She said tuberculosis is a disease that is “airborne,” but no contract tracing is done on the contacts of the people who contract it, unlike what is done now with those who get Covid-19.
Garcia said there must be a rethink on the policy of locking down entire barangays because of Covid-19 cases because the local government units’ (LGUs) funds will be depleted when they have to feed all the people forced into the lockdowns.
Garcia said there is now a new protocol, with the Department of Health (DOH) 7 Director Jaime Bernadas himself saying only the “first level, first generation contacts should be isolated first, not the whole barangay.”
“I will come up with a memorandum to all of our LGUs to adopt the protocols of our DOH that we limit (those we isolate). Let’s not overreact because we are no longer under ECQ (enhanced community quarantine). We are now under GCQ (general community quarantine),” the governor said. (CTL)