The Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has assured that aggressive contact tracing and extraction efforts continue to contain the transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) here despite the double-digit spike in new cases daily.
Based on the data collected by the EOC, its contact tracing teams recorded no backlogs since the start of the month.
This means that while Covid-19 transmission is accelerating, the EOC has located and extracted close contact persons of the confirmed cases daily, thus containing the virus at the soonest possible time.
“Because of our preparation for the past two months, and using our available data last November, we sufficiently prepared for this spike,” Harold Alcontin, head of the EOC’s extraction cluster, said in a statement Monday.
The official also said coordination with the barangays and the contact tracing teams played a huge role in the EOC’s extraction efforts.
Dr. Catherine Echevarre, medical head of the EOC’s contact tracing cluster, also noted that despite the surge of cases in Cebu City, “we are able to say that all positive cases are accounted for and being isolated to our different isolation facilities within the city”.
In an earlier virtual forum, infectious disease expert Dr. Bryan Albert Lim also pointed out that countermeasures have already been put in place in the local healthcare system to address a spike in new cases.
He cited that the positivity rate and critical care utilization in the city have remained low, saying the Covid-19 situation is now more manageable compared to the early months of the pandemic.
Lim also cited the improved testing capacity of the EOCs in Cebu and in the region, which is one of the proactive measures in the Covid-19 fight.
EOCs, which are present in various local government units in Cebu and the Visayas, are centralized hubs that implement measures such as testing and contact tracing, to address the COVID-19 crisis.
“Our hospitals are not overwhelmed. Our positivity rate isn’t at a level that triggers an alarm,” he said.
On Monday, Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases deputy chief implementer Melquiades Feliciano briefed the media on updates on current Covid-19 patient care centers and capacities.
On Sunday, this city recorded 44 new Covid-19 bases, bringing the number of its active cases to 613, based on the latest data from the Department of Health (DOH).
The DOH-Central Visayas on Monday reiterated its call for public discipline amid expected “creeping exhaustion” of medical front-liners while the active Covid-19 cases are rising.
DOH-7 chief pathologist, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, said, however, that Covid-19 patient’s “improvements to be clinically discharged is not reliant on the laxness process exhaustion of our front-liners”.
“But yes, there is also that exhaustion that is creeping in and this is expected as we have been almost a year in our fight against the pandemic,” Loreche said in a message to the Philippine News Agency.
Loreche reacted to query on slower recovery rate as reflected in the first two weeks of January based on the agency’s monitoring of Covid-10 situation.
She also clarified that the “greater number of our active cases are newly included as the reported confirmed cases”.
The post-Christmas holiday surge-related recoveries will still be happening in the coming days, she said. “It takes 14 days before a patient is declared clinically recovered,” she added. (PNA)