Central Visayas posts record low number of new COVID-19 cases

Published August 26, 2020, 12:28 PM

by Minerva Newman

CEBU CITY – The Department of Health-Central Visayas (DOH 7) Center for Health Development (CVCHD) registered its lowest number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases on August 24 with only for the entire region, according to DOH 7 Regional Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas.

In a virtual media talk hosted by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) Assistant Secretary Jonji Gonzales on Tuesday, Bernadas reported that of this number, 11 were from Cebu City, three from Mandaue City, one from Lapu-Lapu City, three from Cebu, and two each in Talisay, Minglanilla and Consolacion. Negros Oriental, Bohol and Siquijor recorded zero new cases.

“This is very heart-warming for everyone,” he said as he pointed out that only 22 new cases were positive out of the 462 tests conducted by the nine PCR laboratories in Cebu on that day. 

“This is very significant because the past three weeks, there is a slow decline of positive cases and continuously went down until now and this is the lowest report,” Bernadas added

As of August 24, the region has 18,370 total positive cases, with recoveries numbering 14,569, and active cases at 2,729. 

According to Bernadas, COVID-19 cases were on a downward trend compared to the figures in the last week of May up to July.

He said this was encouraging for the health workers and the hospitals that have responded well, he said.

“In addition, the critical care utilization went down to the safe level of 30 percent and below. It’s a breather for the health workers but it doesn’t mean we should be complacent in the barangays, municipalities and cities,” Bernadas noted.

Meanwhile, Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr., medical center chief of Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center VSMMC) also observed that COVID-19 cases at the hospital has also went down.  Compared to the last week of May up to the middle of July, there were days when the new cases at the hospital would reach 170 to 180, he said.

“As of August 24, only 15 percent of hospital patients were considered probable.  Out of 517 total patients, 79 are probable and confirmed.  If you look at number of confirmed cases, as of Tuesday, only one patient tested positive of COVID-19,” Aquino added.

The VSMMC, which has been focusing on treating COVID-19 patients, plans to slowly open up the hospital to non-COVID patients, he said. The hospital will be using part of the lobby as the outpatient department for non-COVID cases.

According to Aquino, they plan to open gradually the hospital’s OPD and elective surgery services in the first week of September upon approval of Bernadas.