VVOC: Expect surge in Cebu Covid cases

·2 min read

A SURGE in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in Cebu is imminent due to the devastation brought by Typhoon Odette (Rai), the Visayas Vaccination Operations Center (VVOC) reported on Tuesday, January 4, 2022.

VVOC spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche said the non-observance of health protocols inside evacuation centers and lack of water for hygiene can result in a spike in cases.

Loreche added that the cold and rainy weather may trigger the flu season that will go alongside Covid-19.

Loreche recommended that local chief executives implement stricter border control to stop the entry of the Omicron variant that is now threatening certain areas in Luzon.

"The possibility of having a surge is real, but is it Omicron driven? We cannot say until we do our bio-surveillance," said Loreche.

The VVOC will send 37 qualified samples to the Philippine Genome Center for genomic sequencing to identify if they are positive for the omicron variant.

Two of these were sourced from community samples while 35 came from returning overseas Filipinos.

Loreche said the Omicron variant has three to four times higher transmissibility than the Delta variant.

What is more disturbing is the possibility that the Delta variant is still around and can become a rider with the Omicron variant which is common among viruses, she said.

"We will only know kung mayroon na tayong bio-surveillance and the severity of the diseases despite the fact of a high vaccination coverage ratio," Loreche said.

Central Visayas recorded 16 new cases on January 3, 2022, bringing active cases to 531.

As of January 2, 2022, the capacity utilization of both private and public hospitals in Cebu has remained in the safe zone.

Private hospitals are at 5.8 percent capacity utilization rate with only 46 of 798 beds dedicated to Covid-19 patients occupied.

In public hospitals, only 233 of 426 Covid-19 beds are occupied for a capacity utilization rate of 54.7 percent.

A utilization rate under 60 percent is considered in the safe zone.

The National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal Provinces have been placed under Alert Level 3 until January 15, 2022, due to the “sharp increase” in the number of Covid-19 cases in these areas.

On Tuesday, January 4, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 5,434 new infections logged in the country in the last 24 hours.

The new cases pushed the country’s active infections to 29,809.

The DOH said of the 5,434 new cases, 99 percent or 5,395 occurred between December 22 and January 4.

The country’s positivity rate, meanwhile, climbed to 26.2 percent from Monday’s 20.7 percent.

This is way above the five percent or below positivity rate recommended by the World Health Organization for a country to be considered low risk for Covid-19 transmission.

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