Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said Cebu City’s active cases shot up to 82 on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, from just eight active cases on Jan. 2.
This occurred after Cebu City recorded 13 new Covid-19 cases on Jan. 3, then 22 new cases on Jan. 4, and 39 new cases on Jan. 5, based on results collected so far from various laboratories at 4:30 p.m.
The 22 new cases Tuesday were from Barangay Mambling, five; Guadalupe and Labangon, three each; Lahug, two; and Barangays Camputhaw, Capitol Site, Cogon Pardo, Hipodromo, Kalunasan, Mabolo, Sambag 1, Sambag 2 and Tejero, one each.
Since 22 out of the 518 individuals who took the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test came out positive, this translates to a 4.25 percent daily positivity rate (DPR).
SunStar had yet to get a breakdown on Wednesday’s new cases.
Garganera said while the number of new Covid-19 cases is now increasing, the public should not be alarmed if they follow basic health and safety protocols.
He said the DPR is still within the World Health Organization recommendation of five percent.
“We don’t have to be afraid of this. We’ve been through a lot worse than this–three surges that already claimed 1,527 deaths and the worst typhoon in three decades,” the EOC official said.
Garganera said Cebu City’s preparations against the Omicron variant have been hampered by the destruction caused by Typhoon Odette (Rai) last Dec. 16, as isolation facilities still have no electricity and water and some schools were destroyed by the storm.
There is also less teleconsultation by medical volunteers due to the lack of electricity and internet connectivity.
Some health workers also returned to their home provinces and not everyone has been able to return to Cebu, so health workers are now in short supply as many of them had also gone abroad.
Garganera said the typhoon has created areas that could be the source of virus transmission such as the evacuation sites, the long lines for water and groceries, and other types of gathering.
On Wednesday, the Department of Health (DOH) reported more than 10,000 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the country’s total active cases to 39,974.
This is the highest number of active cases recorded since Nov. 2, 2021, when 40,786 active cases were logged.
The increase in active cases was attributed to 10,775 new infections recorded by the DOH in the last 24 hours that also brought the country’s total confirmed cases to 2,871,745.
The 10,775 figure is nearly double the 5,434 new infections recorded the day before.
The DOH said 10,688 of the new cases reported occurred from Dec. 23 to Jan. 5.
The National Capital Region saw the most number of new infections in the last two weeks, with 7,420 patients, followed by Calabarzon with 1,719 new cases and Central Luzon with 798 new cases.
The country’s positivity rate climbed to 31.7 percent from Tuesday’s 26.5 percent, based on the 44,643 samples tested last Jan. 3.
The death toll increased to 51,662 after 58 new mortalities were reported Wednesday.
But of the 58 new deaths, eight occurred in December 2021, eight in November 2021, 24 in October 2021, 15 in September 2021, and three in August 2021.
These were reported only last Jan. 5, due to late encoding of death information to CovidKaya, the DOH said.
Health officials appealed to the public anew to observe the minimum public health standards and get vaccinated to prevent the further increase of Covid-19 cases.
Dr. Edsel Salvaña, a molecular epidemiologist from the University of the Philippines and a member of the Technical Advisory Group of the DOH, said Wednesday that while many of those infected with the Omicron variant of Sars-CoV-2 have mild symptoms, there is still a possibility that unvaccinated individuals will experience severe Covid-19.
The Philippines currently has 14 Omicron variant cases, and the DOH said Tuesday that this strain may already be circulating in communities.
Data from the DOH showed that 85 percent of patients hospitalized for Covid-19 and 93 percent of those who succumbed to the disease were unvaccinated. (SunStar Philippines)