MORE than 1,800 medical workers and barangay health workers (BHWs) in Cebu City have been injected with the AstraZeneca vaccine against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) since the City started the inoculation on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.
City Health Department (CHD) officer-in-charge Jeffrey Ibones said a total of 1,825 medical workers and BHWs have received the first dose of the vaccine.
The Department of Health (DOH) 7 originally gave the CHD three days to dispose of the first batch of AstraZeneca (AZ) shots allocated for Cebu City, which was 1,600 doses, but the City asked for additional doses when it used up the first batch.
On the first day of vaccination, Ibones said they injected 673 medical workers and BHWs, followed by 887 on the second day and 265 on the third day.
The City will resume the vaccination on Monday, March 29, at the University of Cebu (UC) Banilad and the Robinsons Galleria.
Ibones said the City plans to vaccinate 500 individuals a day.
City Councilor David Tumulak said the City targets to use all the remaining 1,575 doses of AZ vaccine by Wednesday, March 31.
Tumulak, though, said the Department of Health (DOH) 7 did not give them a deadline for the disposal of the additional 1,800 doses of AZ vaccine that the City received last March 26.
Of the 1,825 medical workers and BHWs who have received the first dose of the AZ vaccine, no one reported experiencing any adverse effects.
He said close to 5,000 medical workers and BHWs have registered online to be vaccinated.
Ibones said more nurses and doctors from private hospitals, who were still undecided during the schedule of vaccination in their hospitals, have registered for the vaccination in Cebu City.
“We called health care providers at private clinics, stand-alone doctors, nursing and medical schools so they can also be vaccinated,” Ibones said in a mix of Cebuano and English.
He attributed the increase in the number of individuals who want to be vaccinated to the education drive conducted by CHD personnel.
He said they will ask for additional doses from the DOH 7 once they consume the second batch.
Ibones said the City will accommodate all medical workers as long as they work for clinics or hospitals in Cebu City.
He urged medical workers to register first online before going to the vaccination sites to avoid any delay in the procedure.
Mayor Edgardo Labella said the enthusiasm shown by medical frontliners to get vaccinated should encourage the public to get vaccinated when it’s their turn.
Labella said this shows that Cebu City residents are fully aware of the importance of vaccination.
Reverted to ECQ
Meanwhile, the National Capital Region (NCR) and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal will revert to the most stringent quarantine level for the Holy Week beginning 12:01 a.m. Monday, March 29, in a bid to slow down transmission of Covid-19.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to place the capital region and the four provinces, collectively known as NCR plus or Greater Manila Area, under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) a week after the same area was placed in a Covid-19 bubble.
“Sa madaling salita, homeliners po tayo muli. Sa bahay po tayo, except kung magta-trabaho tayo sa bukas na industriya, kung tayo po ay Apor at para kumuha ng mga necessities gaya po ng pagkain at gamot,” he said.
(In short, we shall be homeliners again. Everyone should stay home, except those working in allowed industries, authorized persons outside residence and those on errands to procure necessities such as food and medicine.)
Roque said, however, that the public transportation system will continue to operate, albeit at a limited capacity, and essential businesses will remain open.
He said there is no need for the affected population, estimated at 25 million, to panic because both the Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of Agriculture have assured that there is enough supply of basic and prime commodities.
As of Saturday, the number of active Covid-19 cases in the country has gone up to a record high 118,122, 16.6 percent of the country’s 712,442 cumulative caseload, the DOH case bulletin showed.
The 9,595 cases on Saturday brought the partial case count for March 2021 to 136,370, much higher than the 127,465 cases recorded in the entire month of August 2020.
As of March 25, there were 41 facilities with critical Covid-19 utilization rates of over 85 percent, 24 at high risk and 15 at moderate risk in Metro Manila.
The number of facilities still in the safe zone decreased to 72, the DOH tracker showed. (JJL, MVI / SunStar Philippines)