CEBU Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia stood pat on her earlier position that there is no upward trend on the Covid-19 cases in Cebu Province despite the warning of a doctor in Cebu.
Garcia questioned the basis of the doctor’s statement regarding the possible surge of Covid-19 cases in the province because it has more active cases than Cebu City.
In a press conference at the Capitol on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, Garcia compared the province’s data to the ones released by the Department of Health (DOH 7) in Cebu City.
Mary Jean Loreche, M.D., spokesperson of the DOH 7, said there was no surge of Covid-19 cases in Cebu Province.
Loreche said the term that must be used in referring to Cebu Province’s Covid-19 cases is “increasing.”
She said the word “surge” can only be used when the number of cases has reached a warning level.
She explained that when there is an increasing number of cases, it can be an increase by 10 or five, but for a surge, there is a “steep rise in the number at a given period of time.”
Based on the province’s data on Sunday, Sept. 13, it recorded 583 active Covid-19 cases with a total of 5,053 active cases.
Cebu City recorded only 385 with a total of 9,742 active cases.
The province’s number of active cases was higher compared to Cebu City.
However, the governor argued that the upward trend of cases should not be based only on the number of active cases.
Garcia said the population of the province should also be considered to get the overall percentage of those infected by the virus.
When it comes to swab positivity rate, Mandaue City recorded the highest percentage at 18.9 percent that turned out positive for Covid-19.
This was followed by Cebu City with 13.5 percent, Cebu Province with 10.04 percent while Lapu-Lapu City had the lowest positivity rate at only 6.1 percent.
Garcia said the medical expert should not release any statement unless facts and figures are presented.
She said: “Where’s the surge here? Don’t release any unfounded statements and warnings. You haven’t even visited the province yet. You have insulted the mayors who are doing their best.”
Garcia said that with the 44 municipalities and six cities under the province, 42 towns have active cases but eight areas have not recorded new cases.
She said the doctor should have paid attention to Cebu City instead as it was the reason the virus spread to the province in July when it was placed under general community quarantine.
She said: “If this expert warned of a Covid surge in the province, on what bases? There’re no figures, you can dispute my figures. The regional director of DOH agrees that there’s no surge. Why don’t you say that to Cebu City? Just because we’re in the province, the presumption is immediate? But when it comes to the city, you don’t do the same?”
Garcia hoped that opinions of experts won’t be influenced with bad intentions especially since the province is doing its best to revive the local economy under the modified general community quarantine status.
The province has 4,143 total recoveries and 327 total number of mortalities.
Loreche said based on the data of the DOH 7 Cebu Tb Reference Laboratory (CTRL), there are only few samples of specimen taken from individuals from the Cebu Province.
Loreche cited for example the data of the CTRL on Sept. 13. She said the CTRL received 478 samples from the Cebu Province and 24 of them tested positive for Covid-19.
She compared it to Cebu City which submitted 319 samples, 14 of which tested positive.
Loreche said the number of samples submitted for testing should be related to the number of population of the whole province of Cebu.
She said in order to know the real picture of the Covid-19 cases, testing needs to be conducted.
She also said there should also be strict implementation of health protocol to contain the virus. (ANV / JOB with JJL)