THE positivity rate of people infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in Cebu City decreased to 16 percent in a three-day window, from July 19 to 21, 2020.
This was a 14 percentage point drop from the 30 percent positivity rate recorded in previous weeks, said City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Cebu City.
The positivity rate refers to the percentage of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test out of all those who were tested.
Garganera did not provide SunStar Cebu on Wednesday, July 22, the number of tests conducted.
As of July 21, Cebu City had a total of 8,302 Covid-19 cases. Of the total confirmed cases, there were 3,304 active cases, 4,583 recoveries and 415 deaths.
Garganera attributed the decrease of the virus positivity rate to the aggressive contact tracing implemented by the IATF EOC.
When the cases of Covid-19 started in Sitio Zapatera in Barangay Luz, Cebu City had a 78 percent positivity rate, Garganera said.
The councilor said the IATF EOC and barangays now have a uniform and close coordination, making the validation and tracing of patients easier than before.
To date, Cebu City has 26 healthcare workers who conduct swab testing. The City also has 114 contact tracing teams.
Before granular lockdowns can be implemented, Garganera said there must be a validation of patients' addresses. This process must be done by both the City Health Department (CHD) and the barangays.
The CHD sorts out the data from the Department of Health (DOH) 7. Afterwards, the CHD identifies the patients’ addresses.
The CHD then forwards the names and addresses to the Barangays, and the Barangays must locate the patients.
Garganera said upon validation, there is a possibility that the number of Covid-19 cases would be reduced.
“In the validation process, some barangays would find out that the patients is actually no longer residing in the area. Some are in jail and were only tagged in their barangays,” he said.
A lockdown will be implemented after the patient's address is validated. A household, compound, building or sitio can be placed on a lockdown, said Garganera.
The Barangays and the City will take care of the needs of the families or individuals affected by the granular lockdown.
Garganera said after an individual is swabbed in a cluster clinic, the Barangay where the individual resides must be informed to immediately lock down the house of the individual while waiting for the test results that come out after three to five days.
If the individual yields a negative result, the lockdown on the household must be lifted immediately; if the individual yields a positive a result, the person will be taken to an isolation center. The household lockdown will continue, the contact tracing team will be deployed and all exposed individuals will be tested.
Last July 21, the IATF EOC released the names of the barangays with the highest number of active Covid-19 cases as result of the four-day contact tracing, from July 16 to July 19.
The barangays include Lahug with 38 active cases; followed by Guadalupe with 29 active cases; Capitol Site, 23; Talamban, 23; Kamputhaw, 18; Mabolo, 18; Poblacion Pardo, 17; Tisa, 17; and Sambag 1, 15.
The other barangays with several active cases are Apas, 14; Labangon, 12; Basak Pardo, 11; Cogon Ramos, 10; Punta Princesa, 10; Sambag 2, nine; Quiot, nine; Zapatera, eight; Banilad, seven; Hipodromo, seven; Basak San Nicholas, seven; and Cogon Pardo, seven. (JJL)