WITH a low number of new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases recorded in the last two weeks, the Department of Health-Central Visayas (DOH 7) believes Cebu City is now en route towards flattening the curve.
From Aug. 1 to 19, 2020, the DOH 7 recorded a daily average of 23 new coronavirus cases in Cebu City.
On Aug. 17, Cebu City logged only seven new cases; while 21 new cases were recorded on Aug. 18 and eight on Aug. 19.
“If we look at the two weeks (data), comparing this to the previous months, the cases already decreased. So, our curve may be a little bit lesser. So, this is already towards flattening of the curve for the past two weeks,” Mary Jean Loreche, DOH 7 spokesperson for Covid-19 told SunStar Cebu.
Likewise, the average daily new cases in Cebu Province is 27. 4, Loreche said.
She also noted a drop in cases in Mandaue City and Lapu Lapu City.
As of Wednesday, Aug. 19, DOH 7 logged 69 new Covid-19 cases; 21 of which were recorded in Cebu Province, 10 in Mandaue City, 18 in Lapu-Lapu City, eight in Cebu City, five in Minglanilla, three in Talisay City, one in Consolacion, and three in Negros Oriental.
It also reported 495 additional recoveries and two new deaths regionwide.
As of Aug. 19, Cebu City had a total of 1,270 active cases, 7, 526 total recoveries, and 623 deaths.
Mandaue City now has a total of 376 active cases, 1,702 total recoveries and 78 deaths.
Lapu-Lapu City has 573 total active cases, 1,460 recoveries, and 79 deaths.
In Cebu Province, Consolacion has 49 total active cases with 376 recoveries and 30 deaths.
Talisay City also has a total of 49 active cases, 695 total recoveries, and 84 total deaths recorded.
This is followed by Minglanilla with 44 total active cases, 401 total recoveries, and 24 total deaths.
Overall, the accumulated active cases from other areas of Cebu Province totaled 605 with 1,629 total recoveries and 128 deaths.
Loreche said the region’s critical care utilization rate, which refers to the proportion of beds and ventilators being used in healthcare facilities, has gone down to 28.5 percent in the last two weeks from 72 percent in July and 89 percent in June.
She said the utilization rate for regular Covid wards is 27.4
percent; while the utilization rate for intensive care unit Covid beds is 36.6 percent.
“In the last days of July and up to August 2, the utilization rate was still a bit high at 45. 8 percent and then it kept on going down especially starting Aug. 10, 11 and 14. We are now at around 29 percent. Yesterday’s report already placed it at 28.5,” she said.
It also now takes 90 days for the cases to double, an improvement from the 7.47 days in June, she added.
However, Loreche warned that although the current statistics shows progress, this should not make the public complacent as anytime it can again go up unless properly managed and controlled.
Meanwhile, even though the number of new Covid-19 cases has significantly decreased during the past few days, further assessment is needed before Cebu City eases into a more relaxed quarantine level.
According to Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Chief Police Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro, commander of the Regional Joint Task Force-Central Visayas COVID Shield, Cebuanos should not be too rash in changing quarantine levels as this needs to be intensively discussed by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
“As part of the policy-making body of the Inter-Agency Task Force in Cebu, I would really like to come up with a good assessment, come up with a viable recommendation, and discuss the pros and cons in lowering the community quarantine status,” Ferro said.
Ferro said he does not want Cebu City to revert to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), like what happened the past months due to a spike in Covid-19 cases after restrictions were loosened.
Mayor Edgardo Labella has announced that he will meet with business owners in Cebu City to check on their operations since the imposition of the general community quarantine (GCQ).
The mayor hopes that by the first week of September, Cebu City will already be under the less stringent modified GCQ (MGCQ).
Should Cebu City be placed under MGCQ, police checkpoints will remain to make sure people are not loitering and are staying in their homes, Ferro said.
Checkpoints also proved to help lessen the region’s crime rate with police reportedly recording only 12 crimes in a day, said Ferro.
“The success in containing the virus in Cebu is because of continued police vigilance. The best thing for the inter-agency is to talk it over. Measures should be in place before the lowering of the quarantine status,” Ferro said.
Police personnel from Regions 7 and 6 who were assigned to augment Cebu City policemen in implementing the minimum health standards have not been asked to return to their mother units yet. (WBS, AYB with CBQ)