Experts warn Cebu City hospitals may reach critical level in two weeks amid rising COVID-19 cases

Published February 9, 2021, 6:55 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

The OCTA Research Group warned on Tuesday, Feb. 9, that medical facilities in Cebu City could reach critical level in the next two weeks, should the rise in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the metropolis continue.

“While the COVID-19 situation in Cebu City is still at a manageable level, the data indicates a continuing increase in new COVID-19 cases since the start of the year,” the team of experts said in the report.

The group already cited the increasing COVID-19 cases in Cebu province as a cause for “serious concern” in their Jan. 28 report.

“This continues to be a serious cause of concern given that the new and more contagious UK B.1.1.7 variant has been identified in the area,” they said in the latest report.

They found that the number of new cases in Cebu City rose by 30 percent from the previous week to 123 new infections daily from Feb. 1 to 7.

Moreover, Cebu City’s positivity rate increased to 10 percent, while its attack rate was at 11.11 per 100,000 population, considered as “high risk” under the Department of Health-issued guidelines.

The team warned that the hospital occupancy rate in Cebu City could reach the 70 percent critical level in two weeks if the current trend is sustained.

“While the current usage is still manageable, at 40 percent as of February 7 (from 25 percent one month ago), the question is, if cases continue to increase at the current transmission rate, when would hospital occupancy could breach the 70 percent critical level,” they said.

The group advised the Cebu City government to adjust to a stricter quarantine measures if cases of COVID-19 in the metropolis “exacerbate to a level that threatens its healthcare system.”

“The goal is to slow down the increase in new cases to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed,” they added.