AS THE Department of Health (DOH) warned earlier of “irregularly high number” of cases, new coronavirus infections surged on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, bringing the total case count in the country past the 250,000 mark.
Based on the Sept. 11 case bulletin, the DOH reported 4,040 new cases which brought the total of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) to 252,964.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire last Wednesday, Sept. 9, warned of “irregularly high number of cases in the coming days” as diagnostics laboratories comply with new reporting requirements.
All licensed testing laboratories have been required by the DOH to include in the case investigation form the full address and contact numbers of patients effective Sept. 1.
Some laboratories, Vergeire said, have failed to report confirmed cases in the past several days because of these additional variables. The DOH required the additional information after local government units complained of difficulty in contact tracing efforts because the address and other contact details of some patients were not
As cases from laboratories that have not been able to comply with the new requirements get reported, spikes in the daily tally of cases are possible, said Vergeire.
Cebu City situation
In Cebu City, the government efforts in slowing the transmission of Covid-19 infections has been undermined by some individuals who gave false identities or names of fictional characters in their contact tracing forms—Bruce Wayne, whose alter ego is the caped crusader Batman; Optimus Prime, the leader of Autobots in Transformers; and Doctor Strange, who is the sorcerer supreme, the primary protector of Earth against magical and mystical threats.
City Councilor Joel Garganera divulged the mischief on his Sept. 10 Facebook post by sharing the pictures of contact tracing forms with names of the superheroes.
Garganera, who also serves as Emergency Operations Center (EOC) deputy chief implementer, wrote on his Facebook page that many people could be put at risk by giving false information.
“This doesn’t make you superheroes. This makes you villains. Sunod, angay na ni ipadakop (Next time, it is better to make arrests). Do not follow this practice. This is not something to laugh about. Please fill-up your forms properly,” read a portion of Garganera’s post.
This act did not sit well with Mayor Edgardo Labella, who warned everyone not to give wrong information in their forms or else they will face criminal charges.
Labella, a lawyer, said giving false names constitutes falsification of documents.
Before entering an establishment open during the city’s modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status, the individuals are required to write their personal details in a form for contact tracing in case the place has been contaminated with a Covid-19 positive person.
Garganera said a person who does not provide accurate information violates Republic Act (RA) 11332, or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.
Section 9 of RA 11332 states the prohibited actions that include the tampering of records, or intentionally providing misinformation.
Cebu City cases
As of Sept. 11, Cebu City had 19 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases to 9,695.
Cebu City’s total cases constituted 3.83 percent of the total cases nationwide.
The city also had 37 additional recoveries, bringing the total to 8,667. The total deaths remained at 661.
Cebu City had 367 active cases as of Sept. 11.
Of the new cases reported by the DOH, the majority came from the National Capital Region (NCR) with 1,813.
Also seeing high numbers of cases were Cavite (435), Rizal (218), Bulacan (195) and Laguna (171).
The DOH report showed 42 additional deaths, raising the death toll from Covid-19 to 4,108.
Majority of the new deaths were recorded in NCR with 15. Other deaths were reported from Bicol Region (six), Western Visayas (five), Eastern Visayas (three), Davao Region (three), Soccsksargen (three), Central Visayas (two), the
Bangsamoro (two), Zamboanga Peninsula (one), Calabarzon (one) and Mimaropa (one).
The DOH said 566 new recoveries were recorded among Covid-19 patients, increasing the total recoveries to 186,606. (HDT & JJL)