AN OVERSEAS Filipino worker (OFW) from Mandaue City, who has been inoculated with the Sinopharm vaccine against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH 7) confirmed Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021.
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH 7 spokesperson, cited three possible reasons for the infection.
She said it was “highly probable” that the protection promised by the vaccine has not kicked in.
Secondly, she said there has been no scientific evidence yet on the extent of immunity that a vaccine can provide.
Thirdly, the OFW may have been infected with a new variant of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
The OFW is now asymptomatic, Loreche said.
All vaccines developed against Covid-19 are still under development. While most have promised protection against severe Covid-19, only a couple have initially shown efficacy against the new Sars-CoV-2 variants. The vaccine from Sinopharm, China’s state-owned pharmaceutical firm, is not among them.
Loreche said the OFW, a 43-year-old male from Mandaue City, received the first dose of the Sinopharm vaccine in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Dec. 12, 2020 and the second dose on Jan. 2, 2021.
Lawyer Julius Caesar Entise of the contact tracing team of the Mandaue City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) said the OFW arrived in Cebu on Jan. 5, 2021 and completed his mandatory quarantine on Jan. 20.
He was swabbed on Feb. 8 as a prerequisite for his return to the UAE and the result came out positive for the virus on Feb. 9.
Entise said five of the OFW’s seven household members also tested positive for Covid-19. The family is undergoing home isolation.
“Considering that the house is qualified for isolation, they were isolated in the same household. They opted for home quarantine,” Entise told SunStar Cebu in a phone interview Wednesday night.
He said “two to three” family members have cough, one of the common symptoms of Covid-19.
On Wednesday, DOH 7 reported a total of 521 new Covid-19 cases in the entire Cebu as follows: Cebu City, 245; Cebu Province, 113; Lapu-Lapu City, 93; and Mandaue City, 70.
The number of active cases in Cebu City went up to 2,668 despite the 158 recoveries, while those in Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu increased to 623 and 466, respectively. Mandaue reported 55 recoveries while Lapu-Lapu had zero for the day.
In Cebu Province, the active cases decreased to 1,029 despite the 113 new cases because there were more recoveries at 141.
One additional death each was reported in Cebu and Mandaue while three mortalities were reported in the Province.
Together with the 10 new cases in Bohol, 2 in Negros Oriental and 1 in Siquijor, there were a total of 534 new infections in Central Visayas Wednesday.
DOH 7 reported a total of six additional deaths and 361 recoveries in the region, leaving 5,240 active cases.
Meanwhile, Loreche said more than eight of 10 active cases in Cebu City were asymptomatic as of Feb. 15.
Of the 2,601 active cases on Feb. 15, she said 2,285 or 87.85 percent were asymptomatic.
The current critical care utilization rate (CCUR) of all the hospitals catering to Covid-19 patients in Cebu City was still at 46 percent, which is considered a safe zone, she said.
“The safe zone is 60 percent and below, which means we are still very much in the safe zone,” she added.
As of Feb. 12, Cebu hospitals have allocated a total of 903 regular and ICU Covid beds.
“We continue to call on our fellow Sugbuanons to do their share in this fight against the coronavirus,” she said.
She said they have continued to strengthen the region’s testing capacity.
The temporary treatment and monitoring facilities, and the private hospitals in the region are also willing to expand their Covid bed allocation, if necessary. (WBS)