Cases of the Covid-19 infection in Western Visayas are going down although the risk classification for Iloilo City is high, and moderate for both Bacolod City and Aklan.
“We look forward that our cases will really go down. Daily, we assess cases to determine if they are declining. We really are hopeful that our cases will be reduced,” Dr. Mary Jean Juanico, head of the infectious disease cluster of the Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development, said in an interview yesterday.
She said the decline was relative to the number of cases in recent months.
But when compared with January, infections were higher in June and July when daily recorded cases were from 400 to 600.
Juanico attributed the decline to the stricter quarantine classification raised in Western Visayas.
The city and province of Iloilo are on Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) until July 15, while the rest of the provinces and the highly-urbanized Bacolod City are under General Community Quarantine until the end of this month.
“It was a big factor that non-essential travels were put on hold,” she added.
The control in cases is also dependent on the efforts of local government units in terms of prevention, detection, isolation, treatment, and reintegration, or PDITR strategy.
But she said it is unlikely that the rate classification of Iloilo City will go down after July 15.
The city is at high risk based on the average daily attack rate (ADAR) per 100,000 population while its utilization of intensive care unit (ICU) beds and the mechanical ventilator is at a critical level.
Iloilo province with its low-risk classification in terms of ADAR and healthcare utilization rate “most likely” will go down at least one quarantine classification lower.
She also hoped that the risk classifications of Aklan and Bacolod City will become stable as their growth in terms of cases in the past two weeks are classified as low risk, although their ADAR remains moderate.
Juanico said that amid the cases, the strict implementation of the minimum public health standards must be observed, regardless of vaccination status.
Also, eligible populations should submit to the vaccination, especially those belonging to the priority groups of A1 to A3, namely healthcare workers, senior citizens, and adults with comorbidities.
“The longer it takes for us to complete the vaccination, the longer will be our agony. The vaccination program is really one of the key strategies to immediately stop the pandemic,” she said.
The DOH 6 also said that total recoveries from Covid rose to 61,548, after 1,101 new recoveries were recorded yesterday.
The active cases dropped to 10,857 even with 505 new confirmed infections as per the result of the tests done by 17 of the 18 laboratories in the region.
Based on the DOH WV Center for Health Development report, the highest number of recoveries came from Negros Occidental with 436, followed by Iloilo province with 294, and Aklan with 167.
Others who survived were from Bacolod City with 65, Iloilo City – 59, Antique – 40, Capiz – 37, and Guimaras – 3.
The region though has 16 new deaths, bringing the total mortalities to 1,712.
Of the new cases, 495 were local cases, eight were authorized persons outside of residence, and two locally-stranded individuals.
The province of Aklan and Iloilo City recorded the highest number of new confirmed cases with 150 and 102, respectively.*PNA