(Eagle News) — Malacanang sees Cebu as the most concerning COVID-19 hotspot in the country as cases have spiked there enough to affect its critical care utilization rate.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that Central Visayas, including Cebu, is the region with the highest number of infections and that COVID-19 deaths have been increasing there.
He said that the government is sending more doctors, nurses and even more medical equipment, including much needed ventilators for critical COVID-19 patients, to Cebu to address this problem.
-Gov’t sends more doctors, nurses to Cebu-
“Ang solusyon po para sa Cebu, magpadala ng mas maraming doktor – at nagpadala na po ang Hukbong Sandatahan natin – mas maraming nurses, mas maraming ventilators. At magbibigay na rin po ng tents ang Philippine National Red Cross to augment iyong mga emergency facilities ng ating mga ospital diyan sa Cebu,” Roque said in a press briefing Monday, June 29.
He said that Metro Manila is even faring better than Cebu and Central Visayas since the Philippine capital has more isolation facilities such as We Heal as One Centers, and hospitals to treat patients including mechanical ventilators.
“Kung ikukumpara ninyo po sa Central Visayas, mabuti pa po tayo dito sa Metro Manila dahil makikita ninyo na malayo pa tayo doon sa critical level or sa high risk pagdating po doon sa green na isolation facilities dahil nandito iyong karamihan ng We Heal as One Centers, iyong orange po iyong ICU capacity at iyong blue, mechanical ventilators,” Roque explained.
-Cebu has most active and critical cases, says Galvez-
Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the chief implementer of the country’s anti-COVID-19 national policy, said Cebu had already passed the critical level of active cases, and has the most COVID-19 fatalities.
“Kung makikita po natin ang Cebu, na-surpass niya iyong tinatawag nating level ng active cases ng different—iyong fifteen na tinatawag nating heavily urbanized cities, siya po ang pinakamataas ngayon, ang Cebu City. And then in case of death, siya rin po ang pinakamataas po sa ngayon.,” he said.
Galvez described as alarming the rise in critical cases in Cebu. He said that most of the big hospitals in Cebu are almost full with COVID-19 cases.
“At ang nakikita po natin na iyong kaniyang severe at saka iyong critical cases are very much… talagang alarming. And then iyong sa critical care, ibig sabihing critical care, iyong lahat ng mga ospital, most hospital na malalaking hospital doon sa Cebu ay halos napupuno po,” he stressed.
Galvez said that Cebu only has seven level 3 hospitals, while Metro Manila has 46 of such high level hospitals. Cebu City hospitals have also been almost overwhelmed with cases, not just of COVID-19, but of other critical ailments.
“Ang medyo disadvantage po ng Cebu is that, sa Metro Manila mayroon po tayong more than 46 level 3 hospitals, dito po sa Cebu, pito lang po ang ating level 3. Meaning talagang mao-overwhelm iyon dahil kasi ang Cebu po, lahat po ng mga cases including non-COVID cases 1, 500 na tinatawag nating dialysis ay talagang pumupunta po sa Cebu City. That’s the, tinatawag nating geographical challenge of Cebu City,” Galvez explained.
-More cases than NCR-
He agees with Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año that the main focal point for COVID-19 is really Cebu. Its cases have been even surpassing the whole of Metro Manila, he said.
“So sa ngayon tama po iyong sinasabi ni Gen. Año na ang pinaka-main focal point po natin ngayon sa COVID-19 is really Cebu considering that the parameters at the thresholds – new cases are really increasing, even surpassing the whole NCR; and then also iyong case of death mataas din po; and then iyong tinatawag po nating recoveries ay hindi po ganoon ka—malakas din po iyong recovery nila but considering that kanilang level 3 hospitals are very limited, iyong apat na mga serving na hospitals and also the Vicente Sotto. Iyon po ang nakikita po natin na isang disadvantage po ng Cebu City,” Galvez said in the press briefing.
Malacanang has earlier said that CALABARZON, Central Visayas and the National Capital Region are the regions with the most number of COVID-19 cases, but that it is in Central Visayas which has increasing number of cases close to a “high-risk” level.
Today, Tuesday, June 30, President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce what will happen in the next few days as the earlier quarantine level announced by the Palace end this day.
(Eagle News Service)