Active Covid cases drop below 100,000

AFTER a week of declaring time-based recoveries, active coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases fell below 100,000 for the first time in a month.

Deaths from Covid-19, however, continued to exceed 100 for the fourth day in a row.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire warned against complacency and reminded the public to continue adhering strictly to health protocols.

“We are already seeing a decline in cases. But we don’t want to be complacent because we want to see a continuous drop in cases,” said Vergeire.

In its case bulletin on Saturday, April 24, 2021, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 9,661 new cases, less than 10,000 for the sixth consecutive day.

These brought the cumulative case count to 989,380.

There were 145 additional mortalities, increasing the death toll to 16,674. The case fatality rate remained at 1.69 percent.

Through its time-based tagging methodology, which is now done daily instead of weekly, the DOH declared an additional 22,877 recoveries, bringing the total to 883,221, or 89.3 percent of the cumulative case count.

With these recoveries, the number of active cases dropped to 89,485, or nine percent of the total count.

Also on Saturday, the DOH in Central Visayas (DOH 7) said the critical care utilization rate (CCUR) of private hospitals in Cebu hovered around 20 percent in the last two weeks.

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH 7 spokesperson, said only 21.3 percent of beds allotted for Covid-19 patients in Cebu are occupied, which is within the 60 percent safe zone.

Central Visayas logged 6,073 active Covid-19 cases on March 23. The number fell to 4,230 active cases on April 23.

As of Friday, Cebu Province had the highest number of active cases with 1,016, followed by Cebu City with 885; Lapu-Lapu City, 784; Bohol, 755; Mandaue City, 469; Negros Oriental, 304; and Siquijor, 17.

Meanwhile, the DOH 7 reminded individuals who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 to monitor themselves for the first 28 days for the proper management of any adverse events following immunization (AEFI).

“Kinahanglan kung makadawat kamo og bakuna ug naa kamo’y bation (If you feel anything after vaccination) no matter how mild it is, please inform the vaccination site or center where you have been vaccinated,” Loreche said.

Loreche also reminded vaccination centers in the region to fully implement guidelines needed prior to the vaccination such as proper medical screening and monitoring before and after the vaccination.

That way, they can determine whether to administer the second dose or defer it for a certain period of time, she said.

“We will decide to change the vaccine depende sa teknolohiya nga naa (depending on the technology available), nagdevelop siya og (and if the person displays any) adverse events,” she said.

However, Loreche said there is no published study that shows the mixing of Covid-19 vaccines is safe and possible.

She said the DOH 7 will continue to wait for new guidelines or new studies regarding Covid-19 vaccination.

Loreche said of the 2,309 AEFI cases reported in the Vigiflow (the reporting format hospitals use in reporting about their vaccination program), majority are mild cases.

For the first dose of the Sinovac vaccine, 888 individuals reported mild AEFI. For the second dose of the vaccine, 139 reported mild and one serious AEFI.

A total of 1,282 individuals who were injected with the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine reported mild AEFI.

Mandaue City

In Mandaue, the City’s Vaccine Advisory Board (VAB) announced that it will hire more health workers to help with the inoculation at the vaccination posts.

The City’s vaccination program started last month.

City Budget Officer Giovanni Tianero, head of VAB’s logistics team, said they will hire contractual health workers during the vaccine rollout.

He said the contract will be for six months, but it can be extended if needed.

He said the City Health Office (CHO) and the Vaccination Operations Center (VOC) tapped the vaccine committee to hire 12 doctors, 27 nurses, midwives and encoders.

Tianero said the vaccination committee plans to open two more vaccination sites at the University of Cebu Lapu-Lapu-Mandaue campus and the Vicente Gullas Medical Hospital once the additional supply of vaccines arrives.

He said applicants can submit their application letter and their resume to the CHO located at corner S.B. Cabahug St. and A. Soriano St. in Barangay Centro. Those applying to be encoders can submit their application letter and resume to the VOC.

Tianero said encoders will be deployed to the vaccination site at the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex.

Tianero said the compensation will depend on the work they will be doing, but it will be the same rate as regular employees.

Their salary will be taken from the P150 million supplemental budget allocated for the vaccination program. (HDT / SunStar Philippines / WBS, KFD)