THE cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in Cebu City has been going down slowly -- but it is nowhere near the flattened curve yet, Central Visayas health authorities said.
The recent daily logs of Covid-19 cases in Cebu City no longer reached in hundreds, said Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, the Department of Health (DOH) 7 spokesperson for Covid-19 updates.
Loreche said the reproduction of the virus in terms of transmission has gone down.
Cebu City used to have a reproduction number of two, Loreche said.
Based on the latest research of the University of the Philippines (UP) OCTA Research, the reproduction number in Cebu City has decreased to 1.14.
The positivity rate in the city, or the number of cases positive for the virus, will also further drop if the healthcare workers will test the right community.
“The positivity rate is actually going to be lower when the community that we are testing is the right community. This means that we must not only contact trace those with SARI (severe acute respiratory infections) and ILI (influenza like illness) symptoms,” Loreche said.
She said, “We are now expanding our testsing capability. We are now testing people in the community that may not have any history of being exposed.”
In a virtual presser on July 20, 2020, Cebu City Mayor spokesperson Rey Gealon said a total of 134 contact tracing teams have been deployed in barangays.
The teams are composed of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), nurses and doctors of the Cebu City Health Department.
Gealon said the current Covid-19 situation in the city shows that the strict implementation of quarantine protocol is effective.
Loreche, too, attributed the development to the strict implementation of lockdown. She also believes that the public has now understood the city’s Covid-19 situation.
The high recovery rate of Covid-19 patients in the city, hovering above 50 percent, is also a good development, Loreche said.
As of July 19, Cebu City had 4,420 recoveries. These numbers reflect the local healthcare system’s capabilities as well as the people’s eagerness for early consultation and early admission, Loreche said.
Asked if the low number of Covid-19 cases in the past days was caused by backlogs, Loreche said there is enough test kit appropriated for Cebu City and the molecular laboratories are working.
Loreche said the Cebu TB-Reference Laboratory Molecular Facility for Covid-19 of the DOH 7 has “paralyzed a bit” after one of its machine did not function.
The molecular laboratory, however, can still produce up to 1,200 results in 24 hours, she said.
A PTV News article quoted Guido David of the UP Institute of Mathematics as saying Cebu City might flatten its Covid-19 curve if the strict restrictions on public movement would continue.
Gealon commented that the City is coordinating with the agencies in addressing the health crisis. He said it is up to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to decide whether to continue Cebu City’s modified enhanced community quarantine status after July 31.
The DOH 7 clarified that the whole Siquijor Island is still free of Covid-19.
The DOH Covid-19 tracker website recorded three cases in Siquijor. However, Loreche said the patients are not currently in Siquijor.
Based on their findings, the patients are in the cities of Pasig, Makati and Cebu.
On Monday, July 20, the Mandaue City Jail (MCJ) was declared free of Covid-19.
All the 278 persons deprived of liberty and a jail officer have recovered from the respiratory illness. Only one inmate succumbed to Covid-19.
This development was reported to Mayor Jonas Cortes by Mandaue City Jail Warden Gil Inopia on Monday, according Cortes’ executive secretary John Eddu Ibañez.
The recovered inmates are awaiting their transfer from the new jail facility used as isolation center in Barangay Basak to the old facility in Barangay Looc. They will be issued certification by the city health office. (JJL and KFD)