Mayor alarmed by 10 Covid-19 deaths in less than 2 months

FROM two last year, deaths from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the southern town of Alcoy have increased to 12, with 10 occurring only in July and August 2021.

Alcoy Mayor Michael Angelo Sestoso said he found this alarming.

“We have recorded a total of 12 deaths, and this is alarming for us because we have a small population. Last year, we recorded only two deaths,” Sestoso said.

He urged his constituents to have themselves checked by the Rural Health Unit (RHU) as soon as symptoms of Covid-19 manifest. Common symptoms are fever, cough, nasal congestion, fatigue, loss of smell and/or taste and lack of appetite.

Sestoso said most of those who died from Covid-19 were senior citizens 70 years old and above. They had comorbidities, or underlying medical conditions aggravated by Covid-19. Some sought hospital admission only when they already had breathing difficulty.

“Others were referred because of suspected Covid-19 symptoms. They did not inform us that they had fever until it was too late. Others were apprehensive about being swabbed for fear that they will be isolated,” he said.

Sestoso said they have been coordinating with the Catholic Church to help convince Alcoy residents to report any symptoms as soon as possible.

“Anyone experiencing symptoms should immediately tell us while we can still treat these. If you come seeking help when you’re already having difficulty breathing, what could we do?” he said.

Sestoso earlier issued an executive order prohibiting non-residents from swimming in the town’s beaches as a preventive measure against Covid-19 transmission.

He asked for understanding and assured that he will open the beaches when Covid-19 cases in the town decrease.

Meanwhile, the lockdown imposed on 12 households was lifted last week. Only two households remained under granular lockdown.

Sestoso said these households were properly assessed by the RHU and were found to be qualified for home quarantine.

Alcoy has isolation facilities with 20 beds each, including those in the barangays.

The Department of Education (DepEd) Cebu has allowed the use of classrooms as isolation facilities, but only for probable Covid-19 cases.

Sestoso said he will seek DepEd’s permission to use the classrooms for confirmed Covid-19 cases.

As of Aug. 23, Alcoy had 27 active cases, 12 deaths and 120 recoveries, bringing its total confirmed Covid-19 cases to 159.

Sestoso said around 1,200 individuals in town are already fully vaccinated out of 12,000 target population. (MVE)