49 construction workers in Lahug contract Covid-19

FORTY-NINE of the 74 new Covid-19 cases in Cebu City reported by the Department of Health 7 on Monday, June 14, 2021, are construction workers employed to complete a building in Barangay Lahug.

City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said the construction workers were transferred to the barangay isolation center on Monday evening.

The transfer of the construction workers took four hours, which Garganera described as “pretty fast” because the construction firm was easy to work with.

The construction workers are all close contacts and asymptomatic, Garganera said.

Based on the EOC data, the Covid-19 cases have been increasing in the past six days.

According to Garganera, the construction workers tested positive for Covid-19 after they took the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test. Taking the RT-PCR test is one of the mandatory protocols for the construction company, and it’s also a must in the workers’ travel, medical and back-to-work requirements.

Authorities cannot ascertain yet the person who infected the construction workers.

“The places we go to every day and the people we bump into each day might possibly be carrying our enemy,” Garganera said.

The construction workers, he said, admitted that they became lenient in protecting themselves, thinking they would not contract the novel coronavirus.

“They failed to practice the minimum health standards both in public and private areas,” he said.

Nationwide stats

In the first half of June 2021, new coronavirus infections nationwide plateaued at an average of 6,500 per day as cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) gradually declined while those in some areas in the Visayas and Mindanao increased sharply.

Dr. Alethea de Guzman, Department of Health (DOH) Epidemiology Bureau director, said they have flagged 20 areas in the Visayas and Mindanao as well as 16 areas in Luzon for having high risk to critical healthcare utilization rates (HCUR).

She noted that the DOH has already called on hospitals in the Visayas and Mindanao to activate surge capacity plans and increase the proportion of beds designated for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients to 50 percent for public hospitals and 30 percent for private hospitals.

“Kailangan, habang hindi pa overwhelmed ang ilang areas natin sa Visayas and Mindanao, matuto na tayo from NCR Plus na ngayon pa lang, dapat ino-augment na natin ang ating health care capacities,” De Guzman said.

Nationwide, the DOH recorded 5,389 new infections in its case bulletin Tuesday, June 15, 2021, despite the failure of 16 laboratories to submit their testing output two days earlier to the Covid-19 Document Repository System.

The new infections brought the total case count to 1,327,431, after the DOH removed nine duplicates and two cases that were found to have actually tested negative. (PAC, MVI / SunStar Philippines)