CENTRAL Visayas registered its lowest number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases on Monday, August 24, said Dr. Jaime Bernadas, regional director of the Department of Health (DOH).
The DOH Central Visayas Center for Health Development reported that on August 24, there were only 22 new cases for the entire region.
Of this number, 11 are from Cebu City, three from Mandaue City, one from Lapu-Lapu City, three from Cebu and two each in Talisay, Minglanilla and Consolacion. Negros Oriental, Bohol and Siquijor recorded zero new cases.
"This is very heart-warming for everyone," Bernadas said during the Mugstoria Ta's Tuesday episode (August 25) hosted by Assistant Secretary Jonji Gonzales and aired on the Facebook page of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas.
He pointed out that only 22 new cases were positive for the virus, out of the 462 tests conducted by the nine PCR laboratories in Cebu.
"Daku ang significance niini because the past three weeks, naghinay-hinay ni siya ug ubos; continuously nagbaba until now (This is very significant because the past three weeks, there is a slow decline (of positive cases) and continuously went down until now)," Bernadas said, adding that this is the lowest report.
As of August 24, the region has 18,370 total positive cases, with total recovery of 14,569 and active cases of 2,729, he added.
Bernadas said that cases are on a downward trend when compared to the figures in the last week of May up to July.
"This is encouraging for our health workers and our hospitals who has responded well," he said.
In addition, the critical care utilization went down to the safe level of 30 percent and below, Bernadas noted.
"It's a breather for the health workers but it doesn't mean (that) mocompiansa ta sa atong mga barangay, sa atong mga munisipyo ug siyudad (we should be complacent in the barangays, municipalities and cities)," he said.
Bernadas reiterated that the real frontliners are the barangays, where there should be vigilance in influenza-like illness surveillance, in identifying positive cases and doing contact tracing and most importantly, in isolating the positive cases. He noted that these are the best ways to stop the spread of the virus.
Bernadas then reminded everybody to continue observing health protocols. "It may be a breather but it is not yet time to celebrate."
Meanwhile, Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr., medical center chief of Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, also observed that Covid-19 cases at the hospital have also went down.
Aquino said that compared to last week of May up to the middle of July, there were days when the new cases at the hospital would reach 170 to 180.
"As of yesterday (August 24), only 15 percent of hospital patients were considered probable. Out of 517 total patients, 79 are probable and confirmed. If you look at [the] number of confirmed cases, gamay gihapon. As of Tuesday, only one patient tested positive of Covid-19," he said.
The VSMMC, which has been focusing on treating Covid-19 patients, plans to slowly open up the hospital to non-Covid patients, he said.
The hospital will be using part of the lobby as the outpatient department for non-Covid cases.
According to Aquino, they plan to open up gradually the hospital's OPD and elective surgery services in the first week of September upon approval of Bernadas. (PR)