Urban poor, 'gated' communities, common COVID outbreak areas

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – People residing in urban poor and "gated" communities are the most common places coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients reside, the City Health Office (CHO) said Thursday.

Dr. Teodoro Yu, CHO's Emergency Operations Center in-charge, said the "battle" of COVID-19 prevention has now shifted to the households, regardless of whether people live in poor or well-off communities.

"That's why we keep on reminding to avoid (super-spreader) activities because this is critical, based on Octa Research where they said that by early October, cases will still increase. Hopefully in Cagayan de Oro, with the help of the people, we practice minimum public health standards to achieve downward trends," he said.

The city has experienced new low COVID-19 cases for three consecutive days with 60, 51, and 73 from September 12 to 14, respectively, but only to return to the usual hundred average of 102 on Thursday.

Yu said cases among Persons Deprived of Liberty and those who are working are limited because they are contained and easy to be traced.

He, however, said the city always keeps in contact with safety officers of private companies and reminds them of the safety protocols.

Mayor Oscar Moreno earlier said though Delta variant cases are still being reported, the September 12-14 decline in COVID-19 cases from triple to double digits showed how well the city government has managed to contain the spread of the virus.

“Our handling of the Delta variant cases helped reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in the city. That and the greater awareness, support, and cooperation of the Kagay-anons and the efforts of the city’s medical front-liners all contributed to lower our cases to double digits. The last time we logged double-digit cases was back in the week ending July 19,” he said.

Moreno plans to release an Executive Order mandating all government testing centers and private laboratories in the city that process COVID-19 test samples, to strictly ensure that the contact details of their clients or patients are correct after about 163 COVID-19 positive patients could not be traced because of the wrong information provided.