DOH-Central Visayas traces high regional ICU use rate to Negros Oriental

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ONLY Negros Oriental out of the four provinces in Central Visayas region has a high intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rate, Department of Health (DOH) Central Visayas spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche said Friday, May 28, 2021.

She said 13, or 72 percent, of the 18 ICU beds set aside for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients in Negros Oriental were occupied as of May 27.

In Cebu, Loreche said the situation is “very much controlled” as only 10, or 11.5 percent, of the 87 ICU beds for Covid-19 patients were occupied.

The ICU utilization rates in Bohol and Siquijor were not available.

Loreche said it was unfair to tag Central Visayas in a “sweeping statement” that it had one of the highest ICU utilization rates in the country.

She was referring to the report citing DOH Epidemiology Bureau data on regional ICU utilization rates, which are among the factors considered in determining a region’s risk classification.

Based on the report, Central Visayas had an ICU occupancy of 79 percent, the second highest among the regions as of May 21. The highest was Ilocos at 86 percent.

Central Visayas was classified as moderate risk along with 10 other regions which showed an uptrend in new infections.

As of May 27, Central Visayas had 3,588 active cases. Negros Oriental had the highest number at 1,251, followed by Bohol with 1,005, Cebu with 500 and Siquijor with five.

Loreche noted that nearly 95 percent of the active cases in Negros Oriental were asymptomatic.

“While it is also true that their cases are rising, of the total active cases posted, May 27, 2021, asymptomatic persons comprise 94.8 percent,” she said.

Among the highly urbanized cities, Cebu City had the highest active cases at 476, followed by Lapu-Lapu City with 178 and Mandaue City with 170.


As of May 27, 57,793 healthcare workers, 8,523 senior citizens and 2,007 individuals with comorbidities in the region have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

In Cebu City, all the 5,800 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were used up less than two weeks after inoculations started on May 17.

“Today, we finished the remaining doses,” Cebu City Health Department (CHD) officer-in-charge Jeffrey Ibones said in an interview Friday afternoon, May 28.

Ibones said he has been communicating with DOH 7 to ask whether there were still Pfizer vaccines that have been set aside for Cebu City.

Inoculations using the Pfizer vaccine are being done only at the University of Cebu (UC) Senior High School Private Campus on J. Alcantara Street.

Ibones said the site may use the AstraZeneca vaccine while waiting for additional supply of the Pfizer vaccine.

There are still around 12,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Cebu City. These are expected to last until the first week of June.

Meanwhile, Ibones said more people were showing up for their vaccination schedule.

An average of 800 individuals are inoculated in all the vaccination sites in Cebu City each day.

Although there are long queues in some vaccination sites, Ibones said the lines are organized and moving.

As of 2 p.m. of May 28, a total of 40,267 individuals have been vaccinated, including 9,768 who have completed the two-dose regimen. (WBS/JJL)

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