EOC: Reduce mandatory confinement to 10 days

Jerra Mae Librea
·3 min read

THE Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) plans to reduce the number of days required for asymptomatic Covid-19 patients inside quarantine facilities.

From the 14-day mandatory stay in isolation centers, the EOC wants to limit the stay to only 10 days, provided the patient continues to have no symptoms of Covid-19 three days prior to his 10th day of confinement.

Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, EOC deputy chief implementer, said this is seriously being studied by the EOC as it would greatly help in the turnaround of patients in the city’s isolation centers.

Garganera said the patients can continue to serve the remaining four days of quarantine at home.

Garganera said this is currently being done in other countries like Singapore and should be scrutinized if feasible in Cebu City.

He said the EOC will refer the matter to the Department of Health (DOH).

Rising cases

Earlier, national Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for Covid-19 implementer for the Visayas Melquiades Feliciano told members of the Cebu City Council during a regular session that the spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in Cebu City was partly due to the downsizing of the EOC staff when the city’s cases slowed down.

Garganera explained that when Covid-19 cases in the city dropped, the EOC personnel, who were all from the different City Hall departments, went back to their respective offices.

“We really don’t have EOC personnel because everyone was borrowed,” said Garganera.

He said the doctors assigned to the EOC were taken from the City Health Department (CHD), which is also dealing with other diseases and vaccination programs.

Emergency responders and personnel in charge of data management also came from other City Hall offices, Garganera added.

When the number of cases went up again, Garganera said the EOC was unable to immediately retrieve personnel and logistics.

Quarantine facilities

Schools formerly used as barangay isolation centers (BICs) were also not immediately reactivated as they had already been set up by the Department of Education for the printing and distribution of modules for learners.

This caused a series of backlogs in the extraction of positive cases from the barangays.

“We did not have a problem with the extraction of cases per se, but the question was, where will we take them,” Garganera explained in Cebuano.

Garganera said the extraction will get back on track as more BICs reopen.

Reports said three more BICs in schools have reopened in addition to the schools which started to operate last January.

“It was not really a smooth transition,” Garganera admitted.

The BICs are located in Barangays Mambaling, Labangon, Mabolo, Zapatera, Pardo, Zapatera and Pahina Central.

The City has not provided details on the number of people admitted in the BICs which are for asymptomatic Covid-19 cases.

However, a list provided by the Cebu City Government showed that 524 individuals were admitted to the city’s various quarantine facilities as of Feb. 4, 2021.

Of the number, 372 active cases were confined at the New Normal Oasis for Adaptation and a Home (Noah) Complex at the South Road Properties (SRP).

The Noah Complex could normally accommodate only around 350 patients, but it is capable of adding 100 more beds.

The Cebu City Quarantine Center (CCQC) at the North Reclamation Area (NRA) has filled 90 of its 160-bed capacity, while the Bayanihan Cebu IEC Field Center has 62 occupied beds out of 130, according to the list.

Those admitted in the three quarantine facilities exhibit mild to moderate symptoms, while the rest are admitted at public and private hospitals in the city.

As of Thursday, Feb. 4, Cebu City had 1,817 active cases with 131 new cases reported on the same day.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year, a total of 13,047 cases have been reported in Cebu City with 10,528 recoveries and 702 deaths. (PAC / JKV)