EOC: Less than half of beds in 3 remaining BICs occupied

·3 min read

THE Cebu City Government has reduced the number of operational barangay isolation centers (BICs) due to the low number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.

At the New Normal Oasis for Adaptation and a Home (Noah) Complex, only two blocks are being used since only a few Covid patients are confined there.

City Councilor Joel Garganera, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) deputy chief implementer, said only three BICs, which have a 380-bed capacity, are in use, but it did not name which ones.

The EOC data shows that as of Saturday, May 1, 2021, only 183 beds were occupied.

Garganera said there are five BICs on standby with a bed capacity of 500 in case Covid cases go up again.

“We’re preparing these facilities, but with a prayer that it will not be put into use,” he said.

When the city experienced a surge in Covid cases in the early months of 2021, the City activated 10 BICs to accommodate Covid-19 patients. This was in contrast to the two BICs that were in use towards the end of 2020.

Noah manager Jocelyn Pesquera said only 19 Covid patients are in isolation in the complex.

The facility can house up to 450 patients who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.

At the Cebu City Quarantine Center (CCQC), only 43 beds occupied while 117 are available. At isolation hotels, only 79 beds are occupied while 218 are available.

The critical care utilization rate in the city’s 15 hospitals is 24.4 percent.

There are 933 beds dedicated to Covid-19 patients in these hospitals.

According to the EOC data, the city has 619 active cases. So far, 21,935 have recovered from the disease, while 844 had died.

Meanwhile, City Councilor David Tumulak announced that around 1,500 senior citizens are scheduled to receive their first dose of the two-dose Covid-19 vaccine on Monday, May 3.

Tumulak, one of the cluster heads in the city’s Vaccine Advisory Board, said senior citizens are the ones who will be prioritized on Monday at the city’s three vaccine sites at the Robinsons Galleria, University of Cebu Banilad campus and the SM Seaside City.

He was referring to senior citizens whose vaccination was deferred, walk-ins who were not accommodated and those who were scheduled to get the jab on April 23.

He said those who were deferred were those who were not fit to receive the vaccine due to some factors like they were sick during their schedule.

Tumulak said they will attend first to senior citizens who received a text message from the City Government, confirming their schedule for May 3.

The City was forced to suspend its Covid-19 vaccine rollout on April 23 after it ran out of vaccines.

It will resume vaccinations on Monday after it received more than 9,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine on Saturday, May 1.

The VAB targets to distribute the doses in seven days.

Tumulak said senior citizens will still be provided with transportation by their respective barangays.

Senior citizens belong to the Priority Code A2, which comes after the Priority Code A1, or health care workers.

From April 19 to April 23, the City inoculated 4,876 senior citizens.

Tumulak said they will continue to accommodate health care workers, but the latter will have to wait for a text message from the City for their schedule.

“But, we can still accommodate A1 but the priority tomorrow are senior citizens,” said Tumulak.

The VAB has been reminding residents to register for the vaccination program online through the website www.pabakunata.com, or they can visit their respective barangays to register.

Around 15,000 senior citizens have so far registered to be vaccinated.

Cebu City is home to over 80,000 individuals aged 60 years and above. (JJL)