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Guv assures vaccines for NegOr

Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo has reassured his constituents that the provincial government, through its Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), will procure its own coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines.

Capitol spokesperson Bimbo Miraflor told reporters late Thursday that the governor said the province would purchase once the vaccine “is available for rollout by the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health.”

The assurance comes amid questions from Oriental Negrenses on when will the vaccines be made available in the province as other local government units have already started allocating funds or making arrangements with pharmaceutical companies for acquisition.

Miraflor said the governor will source the vaccine purchase allotment from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management fund and “other available funds of the provincial government subject to existing rules and guidelines”.

There is no definite amount yet to be spent for the vaccines, and it all depends on the availability of funds without hampering the implementation of other programs, projects, and activities of the province, he said.

“To be safe, given our limited resources, we will wait for our finance managers to assess our capability,” he added.

HIGH INFECTIONS

Meanwhile, the working age bracket, or between 20 to 59 years old, has the highest number of positive infections of Covid-19 in Dumaguete City.

Romualdo “Dondee” Señeris III, team leader of the provincial contact tracing team (CTT) of the Negros Oriental IATF-EID, said yesterday that this is reflected in a study done on Covid-19 cases in the city from Nov. 1, 2020, to Jan. 3, 2021.

In a graph on age distribution presented by Señeris to the Dumaguete City IATF in a meeting early this week, it showed that 224 positive infections were recorded during the period.

The 20-29 years old bracket had the highest infections at 47, followed by 30-39 years old with 37, 40-49 with 36, 50-59 years old with 34, 10-19 years old with 21, and 60-69 years old with 28.

This was followed by age brackets 70-79 years old with 10, 0-9 and 80-89 with five each, and 90 years old and up with only one infection for the same period.

Señeris said the high infections in the younger to middle-aged brackets may be attributed to high-risk work environments, social gatherings, and lifestyle.

The provincial CTT is recommending to the city government to institute additional containment measures, such as granular lockdowns at the barangay level for 14 days, and additional quarantine/isolation facilities as the uphill trend in positive cases continue, he said.

As of Thursday, the province had 1,020 positive Covid-19 cases, with 180 active infections, 810 recoveries, and 30 deaths.

Dumaguete topped the list with the highest infections at 100, with the rest of the towns and cities had 15 and below, while others had zero positive cases. Señeris said he is hopeful that with stricter measures, the number of positive cases will drop as the surge had started in early November and continued during the holidays to date, as shown in records from the Provincial Health Office-Provincial Epidemiological Surveillance Unit.*PNA

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