CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu has the highest positivity rate for coronavirus infections in the Philippines, the Department of Health reported during its daily briefing on Friday, June 26.
Dr. Beverly Ho, DOH Director of the Health Promotion and Communication Service, said infections continue to rise for two reasons: first, because the testing capacity has increased; and second, community transmissions continue.
She said that it was in Cebu “where barangays are transmitting (the coronavirus) to each other.”
Between June 16 and 24 the positivity rate in Cebu was 32.8% – meaning almost 33 out of every 100 persons, or one-third of those tested, was found positive for the virus. This was at an average of 644 tests conducted a day.
For the same period, the National Capital Region registered a 7.2% positivity rate, while the national average was at 6.8%.
A University of the Philippines study published in early June showed that the COVID-19 reproduction number in Cebu City, which was at 2, was double that of Metro Manila’s 0.96.
The reproduction number, used to measure the transmission potential of a disease, is the ratio of rate of infection and recovery rate.
When the first lockdown – or enhanced community quarantine – was lifted on May 31, Cebu was at a 13.7% positivity rate, with an average of 538 tests run a day.
From June 1 to 15, it almost doubled to 24.3%, with an average of 797 tests being run a day.
These statistics covered the island of Cebu. The data showed Cebu’s positivity rate was higher than the capital and national average since April.
The DOH named Cebu as an emerging coronavirus “hotspot” earlier this week due to the rising number of new cases. (READ: Ormoc, Cebu province among emerging coronavirus hotspots, says DOH)
On Friday evening, the Cebu City Health Department reported 95 new coronavirus cases here and 17 new deaths. This brings the total number of cases in Cebu City to 4,702 total cases and the death toll at 136.
At least 2,369 have recovered from COVID-19 in this city. (READ: Cimatu brings in troops as he begins battle vs coronavirus in Cebu City)
President Rodrigo Duterte dispatched Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu Jr. to spearhead the fight against the fast-spreading virus in Cebu City.
The country hit 34,037 cases on Friday, after confirming 1,006 new cases. – Rappler.com