The Department of Health in Region 7 reported that the number of deaths and cases due to coronavirus disease 2019 has become less in Cebu. This time, the hospitals in the city, as well as the rest of Central Visayas, can finally breathe easier after two months of fighting this pandemic. It can be recalled that hospitals have been complaining about the inadequacy of resources brought about by the rising number of patients affected by the virus.

The Chief Pathologist and Spokesperson of the Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, shared that rate of critical care utilization in Central Visayas has totally improved after the needs of the different medical facilities were addressed – like the additional bed capacities intended for COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19 cases now at a Manageable Level

It can be recalled that in mid-June, the critical care utilization in private and public hospitals went as high as 89%. Then it went to 72% in July 15. However, early this month, it has already decreased to in between 49-52%. According to Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, what we have right now are at manageable levels.

This noticeable decrease has been attributed to the decision of local governments to transfer COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms from hospitals to selected quarantine centers. In addition, the strict implementation of and compliance with health protocols also helped in slowing down the spread of the virus. As per mandate by President Rodrigo Duterte, Cebu City was placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) due to a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases, as well as its problem with regards to providing critical health-care assistance to patients.

The aforementioned practices are said to be replicated in Metro Manila where doctors, nurses, and other health-care workers also cried for help because of the overwhelming demand of the health system.

Loreche added that we must continue praying as one country – that a solution (vaccine) may be made available already. This month, Cebu City has been downgraded already to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) which now allows the resumption of more businesses and public transportation. However, Mayor Edgardo Labella ordered that the required health protocols must still be strictly implemented to prevent the resurgence of COVID-19 cases. “We don’t want to go back to ECQ and so I sincerely appeal to you to do your share so we will win this battle. We need to act as one. Harmonization of the system is needed to fight the invisible enemy. No matter how good our system is, we won’t be successful if people do not cooperate.”

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