Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo is urging the national government, through the Department of Health in Region 7, to fast-track the delivery of additional vaccines amid the continuing surge in coronavirus disease 2019 cases in the province.
Assistant Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Liland Estacion, Covid-19 incident commander of the province’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, said in a virtual press briefing yesterday that the province has not received a fresh supply of vaccines.
“Gov. Degamo has already allocated money for the procurement of vaccines, however, right now, we are not allowed to purchase these. So we have to rely on the government to provide us with our requirements for the inoculation rollout,” Estacion said.
She said she called the DOH-7 but failed to contact regional director, Dr. Jaime Bernadas. However, she added that she received information from a reliable source at the national level that there is an allocation of 10,000 doses for the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital and Dumaguete City.
No other details were made available as to when these vaccines will be delivered, Estacion said.
As of yesterday, PHO records show that 11,455 frontliners have received the first dose of vaccines while 6,436 were given the second dose.
For senior citizens, 4,070 were administered the first dose and 110 received the second dose.
Negros Oriental has, so far, received 36,664 doses and is already running low on supply as the remainder of the jabs is reserved for the second dose of those already inoculated with the first dosage.
The need for additional vaccines came as Estacion reported 429 new positive cases from May 31 to June 3.
She said this is now the result of the ongoing massive swab testing of first-generation contacts of Covid-19 patients in Dumaguete and other parts of the province.
The total caseload of Negros Oriental, as of June 4, is 4,958, broken down into 3,291 recoveries, 1,572 active positive cases, and 95 mortalities.
The DOH-7, meanwhile, has deployed government nurses from Cebu City to augment the nursing staff of the Silliman University Medical Center Foundation Inc. in Dumaguete.
“This is the start of the DOH-7’s response to requests by private hospitals for augmentation as their health workers are now overwhelmed with the rising cases of Covid-19 admissions,” Estacion said.
The augmentation nurses, four males and four females, arrived Thursday and were met by Dr. Socrates Villamor, DOH-Negros Oriental provincial chief, who accompanied them to meet with SUMCFI president and administrator, Roberto Montebon.
With the deployment of the nurses from June 4-30, the SUMC has extended its Covid-19 isolation bed capacity although it was not immediately known how many were made available.
Estacion said the other hospitals will follow suit and also extend their bed capacities once they receive their augmentation teams.
Earlier, doctors in Negros Oriental called for the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine restriction amid rising cases of Covid, with hospital staff members already overwhelmed with patients.
The DOH-7, in response, promised to send nurses to these hospitals to address the surge in cases.
The province also asked the hospitals to allocate more beds and rooms for Covid-19 patients.*PNA